Skip to comments.Roman Finds Re-Write History
Posted on 10/14/2005 4:44:24 PM PDT by blam
ROMAN FINDS RE-WRITE HISTORY
By Suzanne Pert
AMAZING finds by archaeologists during recent excavations at Brading Roman Villa mean history will have to be re-written, not just there but at other important mosaic sites around the country.
Archaeologist Kevin Trott with some of the pieces of pottery found at the Brading Roman Villa site. Picture by PETER BOAM
Although his findings are still to be published, archaeologist Kevin Trott has compiled a 400-page report, which has dispelled some long-held myths and is set to take the archaeological world by storm. This week he gave the County Press an insight into the archaeologically-explosive contents.
Palladius, the supposed owner of the villa, is now completely out of the frame. It has emerged that when the villa burnt down in a catastrophic fire in around 300 AD, Palladius had not even been born.
There is now overwhelming evidence that the villa dates from the third century, not the fourth as originally thought from the style of the mosaics.
This revision of its date has repercussions for other prominent Roman sites, which have been dated from the style of their mosaics.
"Our findings have even surprised experts like me but it is clear that basing a date on the style of mosaics is a false way of doing things," said Mr Trott, whose fast-growing reputation means he is being invited to talk at conferences about his work.
"The work we have just completed has unravelled everything completely," said Mr Trott, 33, who lives with his wife Kathryn and son, Joseph, one, in Staplers Road, Newport.
After his excavations, which began in 2003, the pottery, glass, coins and other artefacts were sent off to individual experts for their analysis. Once those reports came back, all the evidence was analysed and pulled together by Mr Trott.
He and a team of up to 28 people have looked at the site from the very earliest period 8,000 years ago in the Middle Stone Age up to the present.
During the period of the Roman Emperor Nero, in about AD60, there was a high-status building on the site. "Not only did the owner have mosaics but also painted wall plaster and the interesting thing is that he could afford minerals to make the paint up cinnabar and Egyptian blue, which came from Spain and Egypt respectively. Only five other sites in Britain have this and they include such significant places as Fishbourne Roman Palace," said Mr Trott, who comes from nine generations of Islanders.
The villa in Brading, as it is seen today, was built in 270AD, but it was to be completely destroyed in a catastrophic fire just 30 years or so later.
Soil samples suggest there was never a formal garden at the villa. All that was outside was domestic rubbish and toilets in front of the building.
Thousands of charred beans were also found the largest amount discovered in Britain and it is Mr Trott's view they were a staple diet on the Island, in the same way that Lincolnshire became known for producing brussels sprouts.
The beans were preserved by being charred, probably in the fire which destroyed the villa.
14 October 2005
Sounds like he opened up a whole new can of beans.
For newbies, please, what is GGG?
Oldest baked beans on record?
Gods, 'Glyphs and graphs
I get this feeling that Roman Brittain was a lot more like Appalachia than Beverly Hills eh!
Graves, not graphs :-).
What's the Isle of Wight like today? A Beatles song comes to mind, but nothing factual ...
That is interesting, as is the entire subject of international trade in the declining years of the Roman Empire.
Play that beautiful bean footage! (Sorry about that.)
D'oh. I don't know where that came from. (bangs head against wall)
It could be a homonym, depending on your local pronunciation :-).
1800s? The Roman Empire, and its successors in the Eastern Mediterranean, didn't decline in the 3rd Century.
Wasn't Rome sacked by Goths and Vandals, and then taken over completely by the Goths (Theodoric Amalung, and those guys) in the 5th century (give or take on the dates, my books are in the other room)?
I understand the greater continuity of Byzantium, but did that extend to regular trade as far as Britain?
I just love articles like this!
Technically that disrupted the continuity of government in the Western Empire, but it was still the same old place.
The West doesn't end until about 538 AD (there's a precise date for this) according to dendrochronology which shows a Fimbulwinter settling in for something like 3 to 5 years.
The Eastern Empire had unbroken continuity up until the city of Byzantium was sacked by the Crusaders, but then reasserted itself and lasted until the early 1400s when it was taken over by the Turks WHO RAN IT EXACTLY THE SAME WAY.
In fact, a good case can be made that the Eastern Empire didn't really end until the peace settlement of WWI that dismantled the Ottoman Empire and re-established the Arab states (which had been out of business for a thousand years).
The Roman Empire was a very large place ~ kind of like the US, and destruction in one quarter did not mean destruction in the others ~ no more than Katrina's destruction of New Orleans has any significance to the existence of Manhattan!
Interesting. Thanks for the big picture.
However, if agriculture and trade and so forth continued uninterrupted through all that time, what caused the tremendous decline in population and economic activity in Europe in the period from the 6th century to the 12th, roughly? What happened to Roman Britain, Roman Gaul, Roman North Africa, Roman Dalmatia, etc., if there was all this continuity?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.