Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Human skeleton unearthed in newly discovered Gloucestershire Roman villa

Remains of a bath complex at Lullingstone Villa.
Photo by Mary Harrsch
I noticed this news release today so I'm assuming this dig is centered on a newly discovered villa not the well known Chedworth site near Cheltenham.

A 2,000-year-old human skeleton has been discovered alongside Iron Age artefacts near Tewkesbury.  The experts do not know yet whether the skeleton is of a male or female but believe it is at least 2,000 years old.

Stuart Foreman of Oxford Archaeology said thousands of pieces of masonry, nails, tiles, pottery and clothing would be unearthed by the time the project is complete.

He said: "Fragments of stone peg-tiles from the roof and sections of painted wall plaster indicate a building of high quality and status. The footings survive to a height of nearly 1m cut into the hillside." - Sify News
 Actually, a number of villas have been discovered in Gloucestershire over the years.  I found this extensive list published by George Witts in an Archaeological Handbook in 1883.  Unfortunately I have not yet visited any of these sites but I have toured Lullingstone Villa, Veralamium and Fishbourne Roman Palace.  The remains of the bath complex at Lullingstone is probably quite similar to the remains of baths found in several of the Gloucestershire villas.

 Roman Britain: A New History   A History of Roman Britain   Roman Britain and Early England: 55 B.C.-A.D. 871 (Norton Library History of England)   The History of Warfare: The Roman Invasions of Britain   An Imperial Possession: Britain in the Roman Empire, 54 BC - AD 409 (Penguin History of Britain)

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