From the Echo:

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have found Roman pottery during a dig in a Dorchester town centre car park.

The Cotswold Archaeology team has reached the layer that marks the end of the Romans in Durnovaria.

Project manager Laurie Coleman said: "We've found Roman pottery from the demolition layer about a metre and a half down.

"It's debris from buildings that were demolished or fell down after the end of the Roman period. That's what we would expect to find there."

He added: "We haven't found anything more recent and I'm not surprised by that. The area was cultivated for market gardens and anything that was there would have been lost."

The pit is one of three sites being excavated at the Charles Street car park as part of the preparations for a major redevelopment by Simons Developers.

Mr Coleman said the pits would be in areas not previously excavated.

He said: "Everything we find will be looked at and form part of a report. It will all help clarify what has gone on there in the past.

"The usual arrangement is that material will go to the local museum and that's what I'd expect here."

The archaeologists expect to finish the first pit today and will start work on the next one on Monday.

Mark Lewis of Simons Developments that is carrying out the redevelopment, said: "We are very aware that this site is a public car park and an important facility in Dorchester town centre.

"All of the work has been planned to cause the absolute minimum of inconvenience and to retain the highest number of working car parking spaces."

Work is also under way to carry out deep-drilling to take core samples to assess the land and its load-bearing qualities.