Soldiers help excavate Roman site in Wales

Related Articles

Related Articles

Credit : George Pas

An award-winning project is using archaeology to aid the recovery of injured soldiers.

Operation Nightingale – which has been recognised by the British Archaeological Awards for its innovation – has seen soldiers excavating the remains of a Roman building at Caerwent Training Area near Newport.

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and Defence Archaeology Group worked with a number of units including The Rifles to create the unique and hugely successful programme, which gives injured military personnel the opportunity to learn a series of excavation, land survey, drawing and mapping techniques.

The soldiers, who joined the programme voluntarily, will also produce a report of their findings which will help enhance their publication and presentation skills.

Credit : Rhys Davies
Credit : Rhys Davies

The majority of soldiers who took part were serving personnel; however there were also a number of injured veterans on the programme, including from the Falklands conflict. The participants had suffered a broad spectrum of injuries including physical and psychological trauma.


Subscribe to more articles like this by following our Google Discovery feed - Click the follow button on your desktop or the star button on mobile. Subscribe

The excavation work took place under the supervision of archaeologists from DIO, the Defence Archaeology Group and the University of Leicester, which supported the project. A group of students from the university also worked alongside the soldiers.

Other partners including Cadw – the Welsh Government’s historic environment service – and the Army’s survey unit, 135 Independent Geographic Squadron, helped to deliver the programme.

The excavation at Caerwent started on 24 March 2013 and involved a total of 18 soldiers working to uncover a stone building thought to date back to the 3rd or 4th Century CE.

Caerwent Training Area covers an area of approximately 1,500 acres largely covered by woodland and industrial buildings. Investigations which took place at the site last year uncovered Roman artefacts including coins and a hypocaust (a Roman heating system).

Credit : Rhys Davies
Credit : Rhys Davies

Sergeant Diarmaid Walshe, who is also a qualified archaeologist, said:

The feedback from Service personnel who have attended the programme so far is that every single one has enjoyed themselves and gained a positive experience that has helped their recovery.

The key to the success of the project is that the soldiers undertake many different activities, from digging to surveying, photography and finds processing. The programme gives them something useful to do which can help rebuild their self-esteem, provide them with a sense of purpose and give them something positive to strive for.

This programme is also about giving something back to the local communities around Chepstow and South Wales who have shown strong support to our injured personnel.

Professor Simon James of the University of Leicester said:

We are pleased to be lending our continued support to Operation Nightingale which offers unique opportunities for both the soldiers and the students of the University of Leicester who are working together on the dig.

Operation Nightingale projects like this give injured soldiers the chance to build on their military skills to explore a novel and rewarding activity; our students help teach them archaeological techniques while learning from the soldiers how to look after themselves in the field.

The Defence Archaeology Group has been set up to help oversee Operation Nightingale to help harness and raise the awareness of Service personnel in matters connected with archaeology and heritage.

Follow Operation Nightingale – http://www.opnightingaleheritage.com

Contributing Source : Defence News

HeritageDaily : Archaeology News : Archaeology Press Releases

- Advertisement -

Download the HeritageDaily mobile application on iOS and Android

More on this topic

LATEST NEWS

Study Suggests the Mystery of The Lost Colony of Roanoke Solved

The Roanoke Colony refers to two colonisation attempts by Sir Walter Raleigh to establish a permanent English settlement in North America.

Drones Map High Plateaus Basin in Moroccan Atlas to Understand Human Evolution

Researchers from the Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH) have been using drones to create high-resolution aerial images and topographies to compile maps of the High Plateaus Basin in Moroccan Atlas.

The Kerguelen Oceanic Plateau Sheds Light on the Formation of Continents

How did the continents form? Although to a certain extent this remains an open question, the oceanic plateau of the Kerguelen Islands may well provide part of the answer, according to a French-Australian team led by the Géosciences Environnement Toulouse laboratory.

Ancient Societies Hold Lessons for Modern Cities

Today's modern cities, from Denver to Dubai, could learn a thing or two from the ancient Pueblo communities that once stretched across the southwestern United States. For starters, the more people live together, the better the living standards.

Volubilis – The Ancient Berber City

Volubilis is an archaeological site and ancient Berber city that many archaeologists believe was the capital of the Kingdom of Mauretania.

Pella – Birthplace of Alexander The Great

Pella is an archaeological site and the historical capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedon.

New Argentine fossils uncover history of celebrated conifer group

Newly unearthed, surprisingly well-preserved conifer fossils from Patagonia, Argentina, show that an endangered and celebrated group of tropical West Pacific trees has roots in the ancient supercontinent that once comprised Australia, Antarctica and South America, according to an international team of researchers.

High-tech CT reveals ancient evolutionary adaptation of extinct crocodylomorphs

The tree of life is rich in examples of species that changed from living in water to a land-based existence.

Fish fossils become buried treasure

Rare metals crucial to green industries turn out to have a surprising origin. Ancient global climate change and certain kinds of undersea geology drove fish populations to specific locations.

Archaeologists Discover Viking Toilet in Denmark

Archaeologists excavating a settlement on the Stevns Peninsula in Denmark suggests they have discovered a toilet from the Viking Age.

Popular stories