Time Team - Roman Villa
Time Team is a British archeology series hosted by Tony Robinson. It aired from 1994 until 2014. Tony Robinson provides series narration. Mick Aston or Francis Pryor lead the site archeologists and provide context for the site. Phil Harding is the lead field archeologist. Over 20 series the team is joined by a variety of experts who help provide context for the period. Each expert is appropriate to the site and period.
Tony Robinson introduces the newest dig. It is in a field next to a Nuclear Power Plant. It is intriguing, according to the ariel maps of the site. The line shows something big in the ground. What is it? It may have been a Roman Fort. It may have been a Roman villa. Tony has high hopes for the site, fingers crossed. Or as he says “may the gods be with us.”
In the shadow of a power plant, the team starts their work. In the 1960s, a Ph.D. student started to work on the site. Farmers were plowing up Roman remains. He wanted to know why and he found a Roman wall. He did not know what it is. All he found was a building and a mosaic, unfortunately, he did not know what the building was. The Time Team is going to continue this man’s work. The man left behind a good record of what he had found. He seems to have hinted that the building was a villa.
The first step was to figure out where he put his original trenches. So the geophysics team runs radar and magnetometry around the site to figure out where these trenches were put. Where the mystery building was located was set in a good farming landscape.
The magnetometry results are generated and the team examines them carefully. They may have found the edge of the building. They thought they found a building, unfortunately, it is not the case. There is only one clear line that they can see and the rest is just jumbled-up debris. The results are inconclusive so they start digging.
Once they start digging the first trench, they immediately find a section of mosaic. Tony is hopeful that they will find more. They bring out the finds from the original discovery and talk about what these finds could mean.
In the meantime, tension rises as the first trench is dug. They find a lot of burning going on in the spot. It shows that something burned down here. Was it the building that burned down? The radar results are getting finalized and it is even worse than the magnetometer results. This will not be an easy dig. It will not give anyone a good idea of where to put the next trenches.
The second trench reveals mortar and then three stones. They find a Roman wall. It is good news for the team. Are these the same walls that the 1960s expedition found? They will have to investigate.
There are tantalizing hints that the building in the field was a Roman Villa. That guess seems impossible because a majority of Roman villas were found in Italy. The site is revealing that this is not the case. Is the Roman Mosaic under Phil’s toolbox? Continue to watch to find out.
Time Team is a fantastic series to show in the classroom. There are a variety of shows that cover a variety of topics. Teachers should be able to find something to show in the classroom. Tony is a humourous narrator who will keep the students engaged with the material. Phil is also fun to watch as he digs.
You can find this episode of Time Team on YouTube here.
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