Fab­u­lous Ro­man mo­saics re­vealed at Ched­worth

Timeless Travels Magazine - - ARCHAEOLOGICAL NEWS -

Ar­chae­ol­o­gists re­turned this summer to Ched­worth Ro­man Villa near Chel­tenham, Glouces­ter­shire, Eng­land for three weeks to ex­plore what lay un­der­neath parts of the villa, in­clud­ing ar­eas that had never pre­vi­ously been ex­plored. The team of Na­tional Trust ar­chae­ol­o­gists con­cen­trated on the north­ern wing of the villa and un­cov­ered some ex­cit­ing new Ro­man mo­saics.

This dig was the last of a five year pro­gramme to in­ves­ti­gate the north range of the villa, aimed at un­der­stand­ing more about its orig­i­nal struc­ture and use, and to see what con­di­tion the sur­viv­ing ar­chae­ol­ogy is in. The work has helped the Na­tional Trust to guide de­ci­sions on how best to pro­tect the an­cient re­mains for the fu­ture.

The ex­ca­va­tions were led by Martin Pap­worth and Nancy Grace of the Na­tional Trust’s SW di­vi­sion. Martin says: “Dur­ing the last five years, ex­ca­va­tions at Ched­worth Ro­man Villa have given us a much bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the way the villa was built and al­tered over time. We found re­mains of the villa that burnt down in the 2nd cen­tury and were wowed by a dis­cov­ery of the great re­cep­tion room mo­saic.

“A hypocaust that was buried in the 4th cen­tury re­vealed ev­i­dence of the villa’s orig­i­nal dec­o­ra­tion, in­clud­ing painted plas­ter and mo­saics of the lost wa­ter fea­tures. We also found a piece of Cip­polino mar­ble that would have been a very ex­pen­sive ma­te­rial used to fur­nish the villa and brought all the way from the Mediter­ranean. It has been an ex­cit­ing dig over the years.”

Vol­un­teers un­cov­er­ing mo­saic floors at Ched­worth Ro­man Villa

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