One summer treat is ice cream, so why not do a Time Team about the Ice Cream Villa? The Time Team examines a site near an ice cream factory. Tony Robinson introduces the ice cream-making amateur archeologists who believe they discovered a Roman villa in a nearby field. Lloyd Wix, one of the ice cream scientists, talks about what they are finding in the field. Tony jokes that they have a week to explore the field, in reality, it is three days.
Over the years, there have been plenty of Roman Era finds. The aerial photographs are showing something in the ground. This site was producing Roman finds for decades. There was something present on the site. The geophysics team goes out on the site.
Typically, Roman villas were built in a U-shape. The main house was in the middle of the U was flanked by side rooms. The foundations of the Ice Cream Villa should give the geophysics team something to find. Unfortunately, the building that should be found easily is proving to be a challenge. The results are showing a bunch of noise in the ground. Stewart Ainsworth, a landscape archeologist, questions why a villa would be built where it was.
In the meantime, Tony examines the finds that have come out of the field. They have found over a ton of Roman material. Helen Geake and Philipa Walton are examining the artifacts that were discovered. There were pieces of jewelry and a lot of coins found. It was the largest discovery of Roman coins in the countryside.
Phil Harding digs out a test pit. Geophysics is proving to be a challenge for everyone. The results are confusing. Tony discusses how closely the field was examined. So Time Team had no option but to dig a test trench. They are making quite a few discoveries in the trench. They open up a second trench to look for a ditch. Then a third trench is opened. The first day is proving to be a disappointment. Tony, Lloyd, and a geophysicist go over the map that Lloyd created of the field.
With Lloyd’s map, they extend trench three. It was the spot where Lloyd and his team found a high amount of archelogy. They are finding more archeology in the trench. Stewart looks for the roads that would have connected the villa to the main roads. He eventually finds the road that connected the villa to the main road. They add a fourth trench based on what the local archeologists discussed. Everything has gone wrong with this dig. The Time Team is not finding a building.
To continue to learn more about the mysterious Ice Cream Villa, continue to watch the episode.
This is a humorous episode. It almost seemed it was anarchy on the field. There were parts of it you could hear Tony’s exasperated voice. At the start, the archeologists and geophysics team are frustrated with the results they are getting. Almost everything was exclaimed with “you haven’t found the villa.” Everyone was convinced that there was a villa in the field. However, they could not find a building on the field. They found evidence of life, but not the house that the life was lived at.
This episode can be shown in both history and science classrooms. For a science classroom, it could prompt discussion on why the scientific method fails or why the tools could fail. Everything could go wrong with this dig, went wrong with this dig. It would be a good example of why things fail, despite overwhelming evidence. The evidence the Time Team was finding was confusing.
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