Remains of Roman buildings found under park grass

Archaeologists discovered remains of three 1600-year-old Roman buildings under a city centre park in Chichester, United Kingdom. The discovery was made following results of ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey made back in 2015.

Roman walls revealed in the trench (by Chichester District Council)

The GPR results showed two large masonry houses and an unusually-shaped third building. According to the researchers the discovery is unique due to the well state of preservation of the structures and the coincidence that the area of the park has never been overbuilt. The finds mark what may have been one of the more affluent parts of the Roman town. Two  of the houses have walls surrounding complete rooms, which are set around a courtyard or atrium. The third building is also a deep masonry structure with a rounded end.

GPR survey results (by Portsmouth News)

The researchers state that the surrounding of the area where the discovery was made is absolutely pockmarked with centuries of cesspits and rubbish dumps, so very little undisturbed Roman material remains. Test pits dug by archaeologists revealed the floor surface, which was very level and smooth, and extremely well made. The houses were possibly built for the wealthy, on the edge of the city away from the noise and smells of the central market and workshops. The structure ending with the round wall is believed to have been a part of a bath house. It is believed that the houses were originally set on a Roman street, which was largely destroyed when a reservoir was built in the park in the second world war as an emergency water supply.

Excavations at the site (by Chichester District Council)
Examination of find (by West Sussex Gazette)

(after Portsmouth News, The Guardian, Chichester District Council, Daily Mirror Online, BBC News & West Sussex Gazette)

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