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Silchester Open Day attracts record numbers!

Professor Mike Fulford at Silchester

'The first Open Day was a wonderful occasion. It's fantastic to see so many people, of all ages, take an interest in and enjoy visiting what is a site of great historical importance.' Professor Mike Fulford

Nearly 1,000 visitors enjoyed learning about Roman life at the first of this year's Silchester Roman Town Open Days, the largest number ever to attend the annual events.

The next event, which is free to attend, is on Saturday 6 August where once again Silchester experts will be on hand to give tours and talks. There will also be demonstrations and a chance for children to dress up and take part in a mini excavation, as well as handle some fascinating finds.

The University of Reading's Archaeology Department has been excavating and researching one block or 'insula' of Silchester Roman Town Since 1997. Finds from 2010 have been cleaned for display, and this year's Field School has already uncovered exciting new evidence of the origins of the town in the Iron Age.

Professor Mike Fulford from the University's Department of Archaeology said: "The first Open Day was a wonderful occasion. It's fantastic to see so many people, of all ages, take an interest in and enjoy visiting what is a site of great historical importance. The team are looking forward to the 2nd and final Open Day and welcoming a large number of visitors once again. They are such exciting and fun events, you never know what you might find!"

The Silchester Field School takes place every summer for six weeks during which time all first year archaeology students at the University of Reading attend along with external participants from all over the world. They will be excavating Insula IX, one part of the large town at Silchester. The purpose of the excavation is to trace the site's development from its origins before the Roman conquest to its abandonment in the fifth century AD.

During the Field School, which runs until 14 August, visitors are welcome to see the excavation in progress every day, between 10.00am and 4.30pm (except Fridays). Groups must book in advance. Over 2,000 people saw the Field School in action during the first two weeks.

For directions to the site, please visit: http://www.reading.ac.uk/silchester/visit-the-roman-town/sil-visit-silchester-roman-town.aspx

Follow @silchexcavation on Twitter for regular ‘find of the day' updates and other information about this summer's dig.

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