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About Birmingham's archaeology

Birmingham has archaeological remains ranging from 500,000 years-old stone axes to 20th century buildings.

They include:

  • Bronze Age burnt mounds; Roman roads, farms, pottery kilns and a fort.
  • Medieval timber and stone buildings and moats; and mills, houses, and industrial structures and products from more recent times.
  • There are above and below ground remains which survive as complete, fragmentary or ruined buildings, earthworks and structures discovered by survey, excavation and chance exposure; and objects found in excavation, or by systematic walking over ploughed fields, or by chance.

The importance of these remains to Birmingham

A piece of flint

 

Archaeological remains contribute to the city's present and future character and distinctiveness. They are an educational, recreational and promotional asset. The city's archaeology is, however, a finite and non-renewable resource which is vulnerable to damage or even complete destruction through new development or inappropriate management. The council takes very seriously its responsibility to safeguard Birmingham's archaeological remains for this and future generations.

Raising awareness of Birmingham's archaeology

We work hard to raise public awareness of Birmingham's archaeology through press releases, leaflets, exhibitions, talks and guided site tours. Some archaeological work in Birmingham has attracted radio and television coverage, such as excavations at Birmingham's Roman Fort (Metchley) and excavations in the city centre as part of the Bullring redevelopment.

Reaching a national audience

Excavations by Channel 4's Time Team at the Soho Manufactory site brought the city's industrial archaeology to a national audience. Leaflets and information boards have also been provided for some sites, paid for by developers through agreements made with the Council for new development. Developers have themselves benefited from publicity arising from archaeological work carried out as part of their development project.

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