HOW archaeological remains from a wealthy Roman settlement were discovered during the Hinkley Point C project will be revealed on television this week,

BBC2's Digging for Britain at 8pm on Wednesday (January 12) features a roadside settlement discovered along the route of National Grid's Connection Project cabling works in the Mendip Hills.

The early activities of the site, uncovered near ancient lead mines at Charterhouse-on-Mendip, included use as a rubbish dump, where deer antlers, pottery and other discarded items were found.

The find came during the pre-construction phase of underground cabling work to deliver low carbon energy pylon free from Hinkley Point C to six million homes and businesses

Specialists were employed to excavate the site, working alongside the county archaeologist and Historic England.

Daniel Connor, project archaeologist for principal contractors Balfour Beatty, said: “The site was a fantastic example of a Roman roadside settlement which has already increased knowledge of Roman occupation in the North Somerset area.

“It had a wonderful level of preservation, with archaeological deposits starting just below ground level.

"This allowed our investigation to start from the demolition of the last phase of building, all the way to the earliest phase of activity on site.”

The artefacts and types of structures found indicate a higher level of wealth in the settlement than the experts would deem typical for this rural landscape.

Among the items discovered were brooches and coins from the 2nd century AD through to 4th century AD.

A further significant discovery under the floor of one of the buildings was a Roman baby burial.

James Goode, project director for National Grid, said: “As a responsible business we are committed to protection of the historic environment, and we worked closely with Historic England and our partners Balfour Beatty and Oxford Archaeology.

"I’m proud of our work which helped to uncover and record this fascinating site, which would otherwise have remained hidden, and can now be shared with millions of television viewers.”

Following completion of the archaeological excavations, all historic items have been recovered and recorded.

The underground cables are now in place and the land has been reinstated.