Time Team Day 14 - Early Bath
Good morning! Thirty-One Days of Time Team continues with a look at the history of Ffrith, Wales. Time Team looks at mysterious bathhouse that might not be a bathhouse.
Back in the 1960s some local archeologists dug some trenches and discovered a series of walls, pot, and Roman coins. Ffrith was the center of Roman occupation in Wales and for decades Roman finds have been discovered. Did these archeologists find a Roman Bathhouse? The Locals want the Time Team to dig the site again to see what is. Is it a Roman bath? Why is it there? Time Team has three days to find out.
The Time Team will dig in the previous trenches. Tony asks if it is good archeology to re-excavate the original trenches to see what was found. The first step for the Time Team is to map out potential walls based on the original dig. To the homeowner’s relief, there will be no digging under the greenhouse. Trench one goes in in the back garden and a second trench will go in an area behind the fence next door. The results indicate that there are hints of a curved wall underneath.
The second trench immediately reveals results: there is a stone wall. The fence between the two gardens is taken down. Mick and Tony meet up with John Gater and they look at older geophysics results. The Time Team is turning their attention to a playing field. It was a scheduled monument because of the Roman finds on the site. The authorities have permitted them to dig it. Geophysics will resurvey the area.
The earlier finds have been fantastic. Some tiles were used to heat bathhouses and pottery found. Time Team will look at these earlier finds to see what they can tell the Time Team. Tony takes a look at some pieces from Roman armor and beads. There were also wall plaster and hairpins found. These are tantalizing hints at what the building was.
On day one the skies open up and rain starts. The dig continues, while the other Time Team members look at archival materials and draw up pan interpretation as to what the bathhouse looks like. Trench number three goes in, and stones are found. What were these stones? The stones are unshaped. Will the third trench yield any finds, continue to watch this episode to find out.
Mick and Tony go back to Trench One and Trench Two for a catch-up. There were bits of stone and modern rubbish. Phil is on top of the curved wall, and he shows a picture of the site in the 1960s. The trench will be expanded, and this expansion should yield some new finds. Was this site Roman? Tony catches up with Historian David Mason to learn more about the Roman occupation of Ffrith.
Time Team does a catch-up in the pub. The lack of finds is worrying Tony. In the larger trench in the field, there will be an inspection trench dug to see if it is worth digging. Tony then asks to fill about the curved wall. Phil teases Tony about it not being a curved wall. Is the wall straight, curved, or squiggly? Tune into the rest of the Time Team to find more about the wall. Is the Time Team going to discover a bathhouse? Or are they just going to discover a fenced-in field?
This was a funnier Time Team because of how everyone at the start was mistaken about the site is a bathhouse. Phil was hysterical teasing Tony throughout the episode. This would be one episode to show in a history classroom for a fun day.
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