This dad made an incredible discovery while digging in his garden
What’s the most interesting thing you ever found buried in your backyard? A dog toy? A time capsule? A haunted burial ground a lá Poltergeist? (We really, really hope it’s not this one.)
Whatever your answer, we’re guessing it’s not as crazy as what a man in Wiltshire, England, recently found when he went digging around in his garden. Luke Irwin was busy laying electricity cables so his kids could play table tennis in the barn in their yard when he and electricians dug up a mosaic tile. Irwin contacted Historic England and a team of local archaeologists, because the tile looked pretty legit. Probably because it turned out to be part of a Roman villa built between 175 AD and 220 AD.
Yeah. That happened. One day, you’re a regular dad doing dad things and the next, there’s a massive archeological dig going on in your backyard. NBD.
Irwin had a feeling something major was about to go down right when they found the mosaics. He told The Guardian, “We knew the significance of that straight away. No one since the Romans has laid mosaics as house floors in Britain. Fortunately we were able to stop the workmen just before they began to wield pickaxes to break up the mosaic layer.”
An eight-day excavation discovered that the villa beneath Irwin’s house was so palatial that it most likely belonged to one of the most powerful and influential Roman families in Britain. Archaeologists found important artifacts all over the area, including a Roman well, coins, pottery, jewelry, oyster shells and even a child’s stone coffin.
Dr David Roberts, an Historic England archaeologist, says, “This is a hugely valuable site with incredible potential. The discovery of such an elaborate and extraordinarily well-preserved villa, undamaged by agriculture for over 1,500 years, is unparalleled in recent years and it gives us a perfect opportunity to understand Roman and post-Roman Britain.”
Experts have even been able to come up with an artistic rendering of what the villa once looked like, which you can view here.
It kind of makes you wonder what’s buried beneath your own home, doesn’t it?