Roman villa with mosaics found in Wiltshire

Unparalleled remains of a Roman villa were found under modern English garden in the county of Wiltshire. Experts from Salisbury Museum in Wiltshire and Historic England excavated the site revealing a mosaic that was part of the floor of a large building, which they believe to be one of the largest Roman villas discovered in England. A stone Roman coffin for a child was also discovered, used as a flower pot at present.

Roman stone coffin for a child (by New York Times)
Roman stone coffin for a child (by New York Times)

Archaeologists also found coins, jewellery, pottery, a well, under-floor heating pipes, and the shells of hundreds of oysters and whelks, which had apparently been farmed, harvested and then carried 45 miles into the countryside in barrels of salt water, indicating that the Roman owners were people of some standing and wealth. It is estimated that the villa had 20 to 25 rooms on the ground floor alone and dated back to 175-220 AD. The house is said to have survived the collapse of the Roman Empire and the rise of the Saxons.

Roman mosaic from the site (by New York Times)
Roman mosaic from the site (by New York Times)

Some of the artefacts from the Irwin find have been taken to the Salisbury Museum, and the rest of the dig has been covered up for now, to protect it.

Roman mosaic from the site (by New York Times)
Roman mosaic from the site (by New York Times)

(after New York Times & Culture 24)

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