Going into lockdown during the pandemic provided an unexpected boon to a farmer in Rutland, England: he stumbled upon the remains of an old Roman mosaic and surrounding villa complex, dating back to between 300 and 400 CE. Archaeologists are hailing the find as one of the most significant mosaics yet found in Great Britain, and the entire site has been declared a protected area. It will be featured next year on the British documentary TV series Digging for Britain.
This isn’t the first interesting archaeological find from the Roman occupation of Britain. For instance, back in 2018, we reported that archaeologists flying over a prehistoric settlement in southern Wales had spotted the ghostly outline of a Roman villa on the ground inside a known older prehistoric settlement’s boundaries. And in 2020, a 2000-year-old stylus (the equivalent of a cheap souvenir, complete with a suitably corny inscription) turned up in a collection of some 1,400 artifacts that had been excavated from a site on the banks of the River Walbrook, a tributary of the Thames that now flows beneath the city’s streets.
As Kiona Smith wrote at the time:
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