AN archaeological excavation has been carried out at Truro College playing fields before construction work for the Fal Building begins. The work, by a team of archaeologists from Cornwall county council's historic environment service (HES), has been funded by Truro College.

Three large areas were stripped by machine, targeting anomalies of possible archaeological interest indicated by a geophysical survey carried out last autumn.

The archaeological work then concentrated in one of the areas adjacent to the site of the new Richard Lander School where an Iron Age settlement of 12 hut circles was discovered by HES last summer. An oval-shaped house, part of the same settlement, was excavated and fragments of Iron Age pottery, known as South Western Decorated Ware dating to the 2nd or 1st century BC, were recovered from the eaves-drip gully surrounding the house. A La Tne Celtic brooch of broadly the same date was discovered alongside the pottery.

Even more exciting was the discovery of another Iron Age settlement, comprising three round houses within an enclosure ditch. All that remained of these houses were holes in the ground to hold the posts that would have supported the wattle walls and thatched roofs and pits in which their hearths were lit.

The pottery from the second settlement has still to be identified but appears to be of the Cordoned Ware style which, according to its type, can belong to three different phases spanning the later Iron Age and Roman-British periods and may indicate the second settlement represents a slightly later phase of occupation on the site.

The help of volunteers from the Cornwall Archaeological Society and Truro College's archaeology department has been much appreciated. It is proposed to exhibit some of the finds in a permanent display in one of the new buildings, probably in the public entrance area.