Good morning! Today I will feature Time Team: An Incredible Discovery in Turkdean. Tony Robinson starts the episode in the field explaining that there was something large in the field. During a dry period, a farmer saw the outlines of something massive in the ground. It was so massive that he decided to draw out what he saw. Another amateur archeologist spotted lines from a helicopter. The lines follow the plan for a Roman Villa. The Team has three days to find out what is in the ground. Tony believes that three days will not be enough for the team.
Photos from the site show clear lines in the ground. Tony wonders why they are seeing clear lines. Mick explains that it is from dead grass on top of the wall. He demonstrates this idea by walking the field. The wall underneath the grass is killing it. However, the Time Team still needs to plan where they are going to put their trenches. They sent out the geophysics team and go over the site. The field is mapped and geophysics results are good. It convinces everyone that there is a large villa in the field. Then the team puts in two trenches. They barely take off the turf before they discover walls.
In the meantime, they also plan on exploring the history of the Villa. The geophysics hint that there is a large villa underground. The team goes over the plans for previous villas discovered in England. Historians compare the villa site to other known Roman Villas. What they conclude surprises Tony: the team is excavating the biggest villa discovered in England.
The villa was built in the 4th Century. Whoever built it was rich. It could have been a local farmer. It could have been a wealthy Roman immigrant. Was the villa built piecemeal or was it built over a month? The team concludes that the site was well selected. There were springs nearby and the Roman road was not that far either. It was built in the heart of Roman Britain.
Mick and Tony go up in a helicopter and take in the field. Mick narrates what they are seeing. There are clear white lines in the grass. It also looks like there are additional buildings on the site. The villa is looking like a complex. Both Mick and Tony are surprised at what they are seeing from the sky.
In the meantime, Phil Harding is helping train an archeological apprentice. He also helps a blacksmith cast a pewter bowl. England was a source of materials for pewter for the Romans. The first step in casting a pewter bowl is to make a cast.
Carenza, a second archeologist, continues with the dig. The Time Team is finding the remains of walls and rooms. They are finding roof tiles as well. There is a dog’s footprint in one of the tiles. Just when they think they have control over the archeology, the geophysics team comes back. The geophysics is showing that the villa is bigger than what they thought. There is a second courtyard.
To continue to learn about this villa, watch the episode. This is one episode I would show in the classroom. If you do not have time to show it in a classroom, then make it an extra credit assignment. If a student is studying Ancient Rome for their independent study, then recommend this episode. This episode builds up as the dig progresses. It is not a “dreadful” build-up either. There is a sense of excitement in this episode. This episode of Time Team is worth sharing in a classroom.
You can access the YouTube Video here.
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