are now underway on the Three Sisters site in Ellesmere Park Eccles and it looks like our
survey was spot on (see Newsletter 83), as a good section of the Road has been exposed. John Rabbitt,
president of the local residence association, is very excited about the results which show
section of road approximately six metres wide with possible ditches on either side. John
has expressed his gratitude to our society for the help we gave, in particular Joe Russell
and Mark Hayward who went down one day last week to show them the rudiments of excavation.
The Road consists of a stony surface very similar to the surface we discovered at Brimlow
farm last year. They dont know how deep the section is yet, but there is a nice
camber and the south side ditch is showing evidence of a re-cut indicating long-term use.
John has a number of schools involved, who are coming down each day in their turn, to help
out with the digging and recording. If anybody is interested in visiting the site we will
arrange a visit at the meeting.
Tribute to a friend
It is with great sadness to have to report that last month Bill Dawber passed away. He
had been ill for some time with cancer, which unfortunately the doctors could not treat.
Although he learned of his illness in 2003 Bill showed great determination in attending as
many meetings as he could (his last one being March this year). Bill was an active member
(was even on the committee for a while), attending the outings and always full of
questions at the meetings. Always the first in giving me great moral support in running
the society, I will miss him as Im sure will all who knew him. Our thoughts go out
to his wife and family and a donation is being been sent to the Wigan & Leigh Hospice
on his behalf.
Darwen Arch. Soc.
Last month saw our geophys surveying team up on the moors overlooking
Darwen helping the Darwen Archaeological Society pinpoint the line of the Roman road from
Manchester to Ribchester. The OS maps seem to indicate that Brocklehead Farm lies directly
on the line of the Road as it crosses the fields both north and south. The farmer has
obtained planning permission to build a caravan park on his north field with only a
watching brief from the County archaeologist. Dorothy Waring, from the local society, is
worried that any remains of the road could be effected or even damaged by the development
so was keen to establish its exact position. Although the line is shown on the maps,
experience has shown that the actual position could be quite a distance away. In fact the
results from the resistivity survey indicate a feature running a few metres away to east
of the accepted line. Dorothy and her team have now opened up a trench across this
position and early results are encouraging with a cobbled surface being exposed. They are
well aware, however, that late 18th century mining in the area could be responsible for
this feature, so attempts are being made to establish its extent and to see if there are
any tell-tale roadside ditches. If you are interested in seeing these excavations please
see me at the meeting.
Roman Leisure Centre
Horrocks (our friend and patron in Canada) and his team of animators have been working
feverishly on this reconstruction of the Wigans Roman bathhouse and mansio. David
has been using accurate plan drawings, supplied by Oxford Archaeology North, to get an
exact replica of the buildings that existed in Wigan in the early 2nd century AD. Details
are still being refined but I think you will agree they have done a marvellous job, and it
promises to be even better when its complete with a virtual tour inside the complex.
David is currently working on a presentation of Wigans Roman Roads and will be soon
be making it available on our website together with the virtual tour of the bathhouse
Wednesday 6th July at the Baden Powell Centre (Scout HQ) in Greenough Street, starting
at 7.30 pm as usual. This month our speaker is our long-time favourite John
Johnson who will be talking about a special location in Egypt
called El Kab. John has visited this place many times now and every time
is always amazed by what he finds. Situated 60 miles south of Luxor on the east bank of
the Nile, El Kab was regarded as the Royal Capital of the south. The city, which was
dedicated to the goddess Nekhbet (represented by a white vulture), was the ritual site of
royal coronations of the southern Kings before Egypt was unified. Even before this, El Kab
has provided ample evidence of pre-dynastic occupation. In addition, several tombs in the
necropolis contain unique military chronicles on the battles with the Hyksos which
heralded in 18th dynasty and the start of the New Kingdom
Sounds like a fascinating talk. Summer trip and developments at the Greatacre site will
also be discussed at the meeting.
Hope to see you there. B.A.