ENGLISH Heritage is calling on the public to help identify men who uncovered Corbridge more than 100 years ago.

A new exhibition Extraordinary Exploration; The Edwardian discovery of Coria showcases dozens of photographs of local labourers who worked in the village over the course of nine years.

The completely inexperienced excavators helped uncover remains of international renown, but have remained anonymous for a century.

New research carried out by historians has since named 11 men but there are hopes newly colourised photographs will lead to more being identified.

English Heritage curator Dr. Frances McIntosh said: “The back-breaking work at the heart of these excavations really was phenomenal, especially considering how deep many of the remains were buried. 

Even more extraordinary is that it was mainly undertaken by local labourers with no prior experience of archaeology. Brick makers, miners and gardeners – these men took on the job at Coria simply to pay the bills.

But over nine seasons, they were taught how to excavate and, in the process, discovered objects and buildings of international importance.

“They were immensely proud of their work, their site and its place within the story of the Tyne Valley, but many of their own names have since been lost to history. We want to discover more about the unnamed workers who toiled to uncover Roman Corbridge. If you spot a familiar face from your own family research, please get in touch.”

The exhibition opened at Corbridge Roman Town on Hadrian’s Wall last week, as part of English Heritage’s 1,900 celebrations, marking 1,900 years since construction started on the wall. 

Photographs will be displayed outside, within the remains themselves, so visitors can compare what the Edwardians saw to what is visible today.