Colchester Archaeologists are having a “mini” open day at the Mercury Theatre this Saturday (8th December) between 9.30am and 12.30pm & 1pm to 3.30pm. Works have been taking place on the site ahead of the major redevelopment.
Visitors will be able to see the remains of parts of what may prove to have been two adjacent Roman houses as well as lots of fragments of brightly-coloured and decorated plaster. The pieces lay jumbled on the floors as if the buildings had stood for quite a while before being demolished. Most had fallen off the walls but some of the thinner pieces may have derived from ceilings showing they too had been plastered and painted.
Other finds will be on show on Saturday as well such as a musket ball which we assume was fired during the Siege of Colchester and a tiny bone dice, last thrown in Roman times.
For safety reasons, the site remains surrounded by a hoarding meaning that there will be restricted views in some areas. However, all concerned with the Mercury Rising Project (the Mercury Theatre, Phelan Construction Ltd, and CBC) are delighted to help make this opportunity possible.
The excavations will continue on other areas around the theatre over the next few weeks and we are hoping to hold another similar event in the near future.