A homeowner in England was renovating his property when contractors running electricity into his barn found a stunning archaeological discovery.
They had suggested he string the electric wiring overhead, but Luke Irwin insisted on putting it underground.
As he helped dig, Irwin felt his shovel strike something solid, brushed back the dirt, and saw what archaeologists are now calling a historic find. A Roman mosaic floor!
There was an entire Roman villa buried beneath his home, and other priceless archaeological artifacts, such as oyster shells and a child’s coffin, were also uncovered at the site.
Archaeologist for Historic England, Dr. David Roberts, said: “This site has not been touched since its collapse 1,400 years ago and, as such, is of enormous importance. Without question, this is a hugely valuable site in terms of research, with incredible potential.”
The Guardian reports:
Irwin called in Historic England (formerly English Heritage), whose archaeologists confirmed that the mosaic had formed part the floor of a grand villa built between AD175 and 220, and had been remodeled several times before the fifth century.
The Irwins’ house, created out of two labourers’ cottages, was built in the centre of the old villa and rests on a large slab of Purbeck marble, which is probably of Roman origin. According to the experts, the discovery is of “national significance”.
“The rest of the site has not been touched since the house collapsed more than 1,400 years ago, and it is unquestionably of enormous importance,” said Dr David Roberts, an Historic England archaeologist.
The archaeological discovery is one of the most elaborate historians had ever seen.
It is very well-preserved for being over 1,500 years old.
“No one since the Romans has laid mosaics as house floors in Britain,” Irwin told The Guardian.
“Fortunately we were able to stop the workmen just before they began to wield pickaxes to break up the mosaic layer.”
Hear Luke Irwin discuss the archaeological find: