LAST-MINUTE preparations have been made for a 'one of a kind' exhibition that will showcase incredible finds from excavations at the Roman site of Silchester five decades on from the start of the archaeological dig.

As previously reported, the new exhibition begins its tour at the Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery in Basingstoke on Saturday, February 10, and will close on Sunday, April 28.

Visitors to 'Becoming Roman – Silchester, a Town of Change', will be transported back 2,000 years to discover what life was like for the French tribe that established the settlement, and how this life changed after the Roman Conquest of Britain.

@basingstokegazette Calling all history lovers👀 #basingstoke #history ♬ Sounds like a mystery music box - Yohei

READ MORE: Basingstoke Willis museum to exhibit finds from Silchester

Basingstoke Gazette: Michael Fulford, a professor of archaeology at the University of Reading Michael Fulford, a professor of archaeology at the University of Reading (Image: Newsquest)

A Gazette reporter visited the museum on Friday, February 9 to see how preparations were going.

Michael Fulford, a professor of archaeology at the University of Reading has been involved in the dig for around 50 years.

He said: "The exhibition here captures some of the finds from the excavations from within the town and gives you an idea of how that life changed from the Iron Age right the way through to the abandonment of the town.

"There are pieces which pick up on particular aspects of the life which might be the trade of the Iron Age, the development of medicine in the town, the life of the animals."

Basingstoke Gazette: The exhibition at the Basingstoke museum

He said it is the first one of its kind to ever be held in Hampshire 

"This is a one-off opportunity to come and see some of the finds which have never been displayed before. Every case has got something exciting" the 75-year-old added.

He said his favourite finds include some of the medical instruments found and the classic Roman dishes for mixing and preparing food

Among the 150 objects on display will be terracotta floor tiles which still retain the footprints of dogs, weasels, birds and children from when they were left out to dry, a huge Roman grain storage jar which will be on display for the first time since undergoing major restoration, exquisite examples of carved gemstones and a Roman roof tile with a Nero stamp on it.

SEE ALSO: Basingstoke town centre will be illuminated over February half term

Basingstoke Gazette: The exhibition at the Basingstoke museum

Alongside will be a behind-the-scenes look at an archaeological dig that, 50 years on, is still revealing the secrets of the people of Silchester.

Alongside their trade skill, visitors will discover how adept they were at metal work, with chariot fittings and a smithy uncovered during the dig.

Other discoveries give a more emotive insight into Iron Age life: these include the skeleton of what is thought to be the first lap dog in Britain, imported from across the Channel.