From the Sunday Express:

THEY came, they saw, they conquered. Or in this case, destroyed.

Diggers at an archaeological site took just minutes to do what the ancient Britons failed to manage.

A Roman fort had withstood the ravages of time and tribesmen until heavy-handed experts mistakenly decided to uncover its secrets with a mechanical excavator.

Hundreds of the buried artifacts at Caister, near Yarmouth, were ruined after the Norfolk Arch­aeology Unit commissioned a dig be­fore permission to build houses on the site was granted.

The site is close to the place where Boudicca, the legendary queen of the Iceni tribe, led an uprising against the occupiers.

The excavation area was covered by a layer of asphalt and beneath that lay undisturbed Roman deposits that would have allowed experts to build a picture of life during the Roman occupation.

David Gurney, principal archaeologist at Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service, was horrified when he arrived to inspect the dig and found a 50ft by 3ft trench scooped out by a digger instead of being excavated by hand.

He said: “This was the first chance to dig a trench across the defences at Caister fort since the Sixties. We lost the opportunity to go through the different layers and recover objects that would have helped us review the dating of the fort defences.

“There’s a lot of archeological work taking place all the time so there’s bound to be the odd lapse. It’s very unfortunate that it took place on such an im­portant site.

Never have been able to fathom the mindset that puts powershovels on archaeological sites ...