Archaeology news: ‘Remarkable’ Roman Villa found buried in Wales

The Roman villa is the first of its kind to be found in northeast Wales and archaeologists have dubbed it an “exciting addition” to the portfolio of Roman artefacts on British shores. Archaeologists were led to the scent of the Roman villa after finding artefacts from the empire in Wrexham.

Experts then carried out a remote sensing survey, which saw them detect the information using satellite observations.

After identifying there was a structure beneath the hills of Rossett, Wrexham, experts from Wrexham Museum, the University of Chester and Archaeological Survey West began digging.

They discovered the remains of several stone and tile buildings which surrounded a courtyard.

Archaeologists also discovered artefacts dating back from the first to the fourth century, which coincided with the arrival of the Romans.

The Romans invaded Britain in what is believed to be 43AD.

As they swept across the land, they established villas; most of which were used as farming establishments.

Some villas, however, were equipped with grander designs, and the team believe the latest find is one of those.

Dr Caroline Pudney, Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Chester said: “This exciting discovery potentially alters our understanding of north east Wales in the wake of the Roman conquest.

“Previous interpretations suggest that most people in this area either lived in settlements associated with Roman military sites or in quite simple farmsteads that continued to utilise Iron Age roundhouse architectural forms.

“The identification of the villa now questions this narrative.”

Councillor Hugh Jones, Lead Member for People at Wrexham Council and the local Member for the Rossett ward said: “This discovery is remarkable and just goes to underline the significant number of fantastic archaeological discoveries that have taken place in and around Rossett in recent years, whether it be Bronze Age such as the wonderful Burton Hoard or the Roman lead pig (or ingot) that is currently on display at the Museum.”

A statement from Wrexham Council also praised the significance of the findings.

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The statement said: “The site was discovered through the cooperation of local metal detectorists who discovered Roman material at the site, this sparked a remote sensing survey which revealed clear evidence of a buried structure.

“The remains appear to be of a fairly typical form with a number of stone and tile buildings surrounding a central courtyard, the survey also suggested its association with a field system, a trackway and other related buildings and structures.”

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