After the Fall


May/June 2021

Digs England MosaicIt has long been thought that when Roman rule of Britain ended in the early fifth century A.D., the population retreated to the countryside to eke out a living through subsistence farming. But new dating of a mosaic at Chedworth Roman Villa in Gloucestershire suggests that at least some continued to appreciate the finer things. Radiocarbon dating of charcoal and bone found in a trench dug to build one of the walls of the room where the mosaic was laid down shows that the fancy flooring was crafted in the mid-fifth century A.D. “It’s really exciting to imagine that these people carried on a Romanized way of life and that crafts like mosaic making survived,” says National Trust archaeologist Martin Papworth. 


Digs England Chedworth Aerial