Remains of Huge Roman Villa Found in U.K.

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April 17, 2016

A floor mosaic discovered in the United Kingdom is from one of the largest Roman villas built in the country, archaeologists say.

A chance discovery by electricians looking to install underground cables to power a games room includes the mosaic, built between A.D. 175 and 220 and remodeled extensively for a century after that, and an overall set of remains of a house that collapsed more than 1,500 years ago and has been virtually untouched since then.

Archaeologists say that the villa would have been, in places, three storeys tall and would have been visible from a long way away. As well, other discoveries like a well preserved well and the remains of oyster shells (a delicacy, especially in Wiltshire, which is not close to the sea,) have added to the evidence of the villa's being a place of extravagance and significance. Other finds include remains of coins, brooches, and animals.

Also among the discoveries was evidence of fifth-century pottery and timber, suggesting occupation after the Romans left, in 410, and a pre-Roman roundhouse.

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