Archaeologists unearth Roman villa in English village

January 15th, 2009 - 3:18 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Jan 15 (ANI): A team of archaeologists has unearthed a Roman villa in Sharnbrook, a village in England.

The villa was discovered by a local group of archaeologists with help from experts on the hit television series Time Team, which is aired on UKs Channel 4.

The Channel 4 programmes expert squad of historians and surveyors visited Colworth Science Park in Sharnbrook for the new 2009 series of the show and, together with the Colworth Archaeological Society (CAS), made some surprising finds.

Archaeologists were able to confirm a grand villa complex once stood on the Colworth site and found evidence of high society, including coins, fragments of glass wine goblets and jewellery.

But, the villas discovery began posing more questions than answers.

The site is very unusual for north Bedfordshire, posing the question as to why such a significant Roman building should be placed in the middle of nowhere, miles from the nearest major Roman road, said Loyd Wix, who works at Colworth Science Park and was a co-founder of CAS.

Artifacts, including the only recorded find of a Roman false tooth made from a copper alloy, have been turning up around Colworth Science Park for the past century, but this is the first time a professional dig has been carried out.

The Time Teams work concluded that a large stone villa approximately 20 by 20 metres was built on the site, with a number of wooden outbuildings.

Evidence of two Iron Age round houses was also uncovered, along with a large quantity of pre-historic pottery and worked flint, proving the site has been in use for more than 2,500 years.

According to Wix, One of the questions still unanswered is what was the villas function? There were a lot of timber buildings in the complex that there was not time to explore and more fields we did not have time to dig.

This building was there for a purpose, it was not just built because they wanted somewhere to live, he added.

One probable function is it was the centre of operation for a much bigger estate. It could be where they collected taxes, which is why there were so many coins found, he further added. (ANI)

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