THAT planning and other constraints has enabled a comprehensive excavation of such an important historical site as the Bargate area (‘History holds up £100m Bargate revamp’ Daily Echo, February 27) is to be welcomed.

Finds already excavated indeed reflect the historical diversity long associated with Southampton.

The exquisite hand-painted plate fragment pictured in your feature was probably produced in the Netherlands and adds to our knowledge of overseas trade and local wealth at the time.

Equally significant has been the discovery of Roman pottery on the site as it supports a belief that there is a yet-to-be excavated Anglo/Romano farmstead settlement beneath Houndwell Park.

The city council is therefore to be applauded for retaining the expertise and interpretation provided by Doctor Russell and his team at a time that the national educational focus on history and other arts subjects seems to be declining.

Malcolm Pain

Bitterne Park