A SERIES of significant archaeological finds have helped to piece together snippets of life in Roman Colchester.

Colchester Archaeological Trust discovered evidence of a Roman fortress and Roman houses as well as Anglo-Saxon relics during its excavation work at the town’s Mercury Theatre.

On Friday, 70 friends of the trustees got a closer look at the finds during a special event at the Roman Circus Visitor Centre.

Gazette: Around 70 friends of Colchester Archaeological Trust attended the event Around 70 friends of Colchester Archaeological Trust attended the event

Director Philip Crummy said: “We know the theatre excavation has generated a lot of public interest and we thought we should let people have a closer look.

“The earliest find was the remains of two barrack block walls which date from AD40.

“We were also able to uncover parts of several substantial houses in the immediate vicinity of the Mercury Theatre and we are going to add them to the plan of the town. More importantly we were able to find debris on the floors which tell us they had been abandoned and left long enough for the plaster to fall off.

“The plaster got damp, fell off and landed on the floor where it was eventually buried.

“This allows us to conjure up images of Roman houses and it helps us to reconcile what the town was like.”

READ MORE: Roman fortress found in Colchester near Mercury Theatre

Excavations also found a rare Anglo-Saxon Sceat coin dating from the 8th century when Christianity arrived in Essex.

Mr Crummy said: “There is only three known to have been found in Colchester. We believe people were living in the area during those times.”

READ MORE: £9m Mercury Theatre re-development reveals remarkable historical finds

The archaeologist said he feels there is still much to discover around the theatre.

He said: “The dig has fed us little nuggets of information which future archaeologists can explore further.

“We will be doing one last open day in a few weeks time where people can come and look at what is going on.

“Letting people see what we do is important for us.”

Visit thecolchesterarchaeologist.co.uk.