THE map of Roman Worcester is changing beyond recognition as archaeologists continue to uncover the city’s past.

Before shovels hit the ground at the Butts Dig in Worcester in August, historians believed Roman Worcester was a small, sparse settlement.

But extraordinary finds at the site – where the city’s £60 million library and history centre will eventually be built – have revealed a Roman market town where industrial, commercial and domestic life flourished.

The footprint of a huge stone building has shown archaeologists that the area near to the river Severn was intensely occupied throughout the ages.

“It is thought a major Roman road ran along the edge of the site and items from all over the UK found a home in Worcester.

“This site has totally changed our map of Roman Worcester,” said archaeologist Simon Sworn.

“It’s not just the amount of finds but how well preserved and the scale, which make this site important. We’ve found a concentrated Roman town here.”

While volunteers are no longer digging at the site, it remains open to the public and people are urged to see history being unearthed.

Over the coming weeks the remains of the large building – which had smaller outbuildings attached – will be exposed and eventually removed to allow archaeologists to reach the layers underneath. “We will also be investigating the mediaeval city wall,” said Mr Sworn.

With each new find the exhibition room on site becomes more crowded. A hoard of coins is now on display, alongside a Roman bread oven, a jug that had been converted into a beehive, a pot used to mix herbs and spices, a bracelet with a snakehead decoration and a delicate brooch.

The items, all Roman, would have been used by ordinary people and provide an emotive link to the city’s past.

The Butts Dig exhibition is open from Monday to Friday.

For more information call 01905 855499 or log onto archaeology.