Imagine digging your garden up to install electric cables, and finding a beautiful Roman villa that once belonged to wealthy families. This is what Luke Irwin, a rug designer, experienced at his farm in Brixton, Wiltshire. It’s just 4 miles from Warminster, in Wiltshire. He wanted to install electric cables to allow his children to play table tennis at an abandoned barn on the land he had just purchased. But he didn’t know that such a simple conversion would lead to an amazing find. Although the electricians suggested a cable to run from the farmhouse to to the barn using an overhead wire, Mr. Irwin insisted the cable must go below the ground. This decision proved to be fatal. He discovered a pristine villa and a mosaic that was ‘extraordinarily preserved’. Artist’s drawing of the Roman villa. It was likely to belong to an extraordinary family. Historic England said: “It is not just the size of the building – which is vast – but the other discoveries that we have made that reveal what a special place this must have been.” (Image: twitter.com/HistoricEngland) While drilling, the electricians hit a hard layer about eighteen inches below the garden’s surface. M. Irwin stated that everyone knew the importance of this layer as soon as they saw mosaic pieces. Mr. Irwin stated that no one has ever laid mosaics in Britain since the Romans. We were able stop them just as they started to use pickaxes to remove the mosaic layer,” stated Mr. Irwin. This was Britain’s major discovery. According to Historic England, an executive, non-departmental, public body of British Government, the find is ‘unparalleled’ in recent years. It is charged with safeguarding England’s historical environment by listing and preserving historic buildings. The 8-day excavation revealed the palatial Roman villa. The excavation site’s archaeologists are trying to determine its owners wealth as well as the structure’s size. They also compared it with a house in Chedworth, Gloucesteshire. This is one of Britain’s largest Roman villas. After digging 18 in the ground, the electricians felt something. They discovered an ancient mosaic floor underneath the ground after carefully clearing it. It was an extraordinary discovery that Mr. Irwin realized immediately. (Image: twitter.com/lukeirwinrugs) At the new Brixton Deverill excavation site, hundreds of oysters have been unearthed. These oysters were artificially grown and carried from the coast in seawater barrels. According to archaeologists, only wealthy families could transport so many oysters live from the coast. Another discovery was several coins and bones, including one of a suckling porcine, as well as brooches, brooches and pottery with ‘extremely high-status pottery. BBC News reported that Dr. David Roberts from Historic England said that he had found many artifacts that show how lavish a lifestyle was lived by the wealthy family who would have lived in the villa. This is clearly not your average domestic settlement. It has been untouched for 14,000 decades. The villa was built sometime between 175 & 220 AD. Historic England says that the villa’s ‘enormous significance’ is due to its untouched status for just 1 ,400 year. Historic England states that the mosaic was part of the floor in the palace villa. It had been renovated several times prior to the fifth century, but remained unchanged. The newly-purchased home of Mr. and Mrs. Irwin was built from two cottages made by farm laborers. The house was built on top of an enormous slab of Purbeck marble. Experts believe it is likely to be Roman. Luke Irwin in his Wiltshire garden. Image: lukeirwin.com. Post Roman Britain. Dr. Roberts said that this site is extremely valuable in research and has incredible potential. It is one of my favorite sites. Archeologists who were working at the site discovered timber structures that had been built in the fifth-century. Archeologists working on the excavation site discovered remains that date back to the period between the Roman occupation and the Saxon dominance of England. This could give useful insights into an important time in English history. It is not known how locals responded to the fall of the Roman Empire at that time. According to Dr. Roberts, this find could help us answer many of our questions. The coffin of a Roman child has been unaffected in Irwin’s Garden for over a thousand years. Image by lukeirwin.com. A pot with very old Geraniums was found in front of Irwin’s garden kitchen window. Dr. Roberts continued to ask Mr. Irwin questions about the large, rectangular container, which was there prior to the Irwins buying the house. Contact was made with the previous owner who stated that she left the rectangular container behind on purpose. It was there before the Irwins bought the house. Dr. Roberts then asked Mr. Irwin, an archaeologist and historian, why he was interested in such an ancient pot. He suggested that the coffin might have been used by a Roman child. Regarding the coffin, Mr. Irwin stated that it had been hidden in plain sight for many centuries. “This is about having eyes open and accumulating knowledge. It’s seeing the world in a new way. You can take a topographic knowledge and see undulations in fields. This allows you to create a story about what has been going on. This is quite remarkable.” Video: Roman villa discovered in Wiltshire Garden Luke Irwin details how his wife fell for the property upon first viewing it. The plan was to transform the barn to allow the children to play ping-pong there. But then, an electrician discovered a way to run a cable through the garden.
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