West Wiltshire YAC's Roman villa talk
Members of West Wiltshire YAC learned all about an awesome Roman villa discovered in Bradford on Avon during a recent meeting, when they enjoyed a talk and handling session with Sophie Hawke from Bath & Camerton Archaeology.
What's under YOUR school?!
An excavation in 1976 near Bradford on Avon in Wiltshire discovered a Roman bath house. It was found right on the edge of the school playing field of St Laurence School, Budbury. Since then, archaeologists were convinced that there must have been an important Roman building, perhaps a villa, nearby. But it wasn't discovered for quite a long time...
In 1999, the dry summer revealed parch marks in the playing field’s grass. These happen when grass dries out and goes yellow where the soil is thin, which can be evidence pointing to walls buried beneath the surface. But it wasn’t until 2002 that a dig was done, by archaeologists from Bristol and Cardiff Universities, led by Mark Corney. During two summers of digging, they discovered some remarkable Roman archaeology!
They uncovered a large villa with beautiful mosaic-floored reception rooms and further buildings around a courtyard and, surprisingly, another villa next door, of nearly the same plan! The mosaics were incredibly well preserved, and Sophie was able to show the YAC members some photographs of them being excavated by the archaeological team during her presentation.
During Sophie's talk, the members of West Wiltshire YAC were able to take a closer look at some of the Roman finds made during the villa dig. They looked at Roman building materials, including tiles and tesserae used to make the mosaics.
At the end of the session, the members got arty and coloured and created their own mosaic masterpieces!
Dig deeper into our blog by clicking on one of the words above, or search using this box.