A farmhouse owner was only planning on laying cables for his children to have a place to play table tennis, when he uncovered what is believed to be the largest ancient Roman villa in the UK.
Luke Irwin was said to have found “elaborate and extraordinarily well-preserved” remains on his property after he managed to unearth a Roman mosaic at his home near the village of Tisbury in Wiltshire.
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Realizing how important this forgotten villa is, he called in archaeological experts, who then proceeded on going on an eight-day dig by the Historic England and Salisbury Museum. This revealed the home of a wealthy Roman family living luxuriously in what could possibly be the largest villas in the country.
Among the things found are oysters, which were artificially cultivated and carried live from the coast in saltwater barrels, a clear indication of wealth.
Coins, brooches, and animal bones—including a suckling pig—also turned up, as did wild animals that had been hunted. A Roman well was also found, but what may be the most interesting is the child’s coffin, which had been found where geraniums grew by Irwin’s kitchen.