Chedworth time team digs deep
PUBLISHED: 17:01 26 August 2014 | UPDATED: 17:01 26 August 2014
This summer, members of the public are invited to watch as National Trust’s very own ‘time team’ of archaeologists and volunteers painstakingly work away to uncover hidden Roman mosaics and other treasures in the North Wing of Chedworth Roman Villa.
Across the two weeks, from August 18-29, the team are hoping to answer questions about the layout of the rooms as buried walls come to light, and maybe even uncover some hidden mosaics. As they dig, they’ll also be looking for fragments of pottery and other ancient artifacts.
From an elevated platform, visitors can follow the team’s every move as they toil away in the trenches below – and also ask them questions on the spot. This is the second year of a 5-year project to explore the North Wing. Last year, just a few tantalizing strips of mosaics were exposed, so hopes are high for many more finds this summer.
Sixty years ago, Sir Ian Richmond first dug in the spot and marked out with paths where he thought the walls of the rooms went. Now, 150 years on from when the Roman villa was first discovered, technology and techniques have moved on and the experts can really get to grips with its layout and development.
Alex Auden, Operations Manager at Chedworth Roman Villa and herself an archaeologist, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to share our finds with visitors as they happen. The area of the North Wing which we are currently exploring has a complex layout, but it holds many clues to how the villa developed between the second and fourth centuries.
“Chedworth is unique. It was one of the grandest villas in Roman Britain, and one of the best preserved Roman sites in the country. Our discoveries and our understanding of how the Romans built and lived are now expanding rapidly.”
To celebrate Chedworth’s 150th anniversary, there’s a packed programme of activities for everyone, and visitors can create mosaics and clay Roman snails, as well as bring in old coins to see if there are any Roman treasures hidden among them.
Find out more about Chedworth’s summer events at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/chedworth