NATIONAL HIGHWAYS are set to unveil hidden historical treasures found over the past year by archaeologists working on the A417 Missing Link project. 

Along with Oxford Cotswold Archaeology, National Highways will unveil items and photographs to the public, 10am, May 11 at Gloucester Guildhall. 

The finds include items dating back more than 12,000 years such as a Roman Cupid figurine, pottery, coins and jewellery - some of which date back to the Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age.

The finds were part of the A417 Missing Link Project, which involved Oxford Cotswold Archaeology, National Highways, contractors Kier, Historic England and Gloucestershire County Council. 

Experts from the archaeological team charted the history around the old A417 route, prior to National Highways constructing a three-mile stretch of single-lane carriageway, on the Brockworth bypass and Cowley roundabout in Gloucestershire.

A team of more than 60 archaeologists and 50 office-based specialists spent more than 100,000 hours excavating and curating over 10,600 artefacts.

Steve Foxley, Project Director for the A417 scheme, said: “We are excited about the findings this landscape-led scheme uncovered, as they provide a unique window into the ancient history of Gloucestershire.

“Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds have a rich cultural heritage, and the team will bring their expertise to bear in adding to that history.

"These discoveries will contribute significantly to our understanding of how people in the past adapted to changing environmental conditions, and we will ensure the remains are preserved and recorded.

“As well as delivering the road upgrade, we’re absolutely committed to conserving and, where possible, enhancing the historic environment and the special landscape around the A417.” 

OCA Project Manager, Alex Thomson, said: “It has been a privilege for the Oxford Cotswold Archaeology team to support National Highways and Kier on the A417 Missing Link project.

“We knew that the area was rich with archaeological potential, but the results of our fieldwork have exceeded all expectations - we have been treated to some excellent archaeology that tells a fascinating story about this corner of the Cotswolds across thousands of years.”

In time, a report will be published into the full findings, preserving the information for generations to come.