years, those at St Laurence School in Bradford on Avon had been
puzzled by strangely regular parched lines criss-crossing their
the odd lump of stone peeping out from under the turf had them scratching
their heads too.
someone had the idea of calling in the archaeologists and
with their help, something incredible has emerged.
criss-crossing lines turned out to be the walls of two lavish, Roman
dating from the end of the third century AD, and were lived in until
the early fifth century.
been called one of the most significant archaeological discoveries
since the early sixties.
summer, the experts descended on the school to uncover the secrets
of the past.
West's Amanda Parr and Will Glennon turned time detectives to follow
the experts every step of the way, from the lifting of the turf
to its re-laying - ready in time for the next school term.
so funny to think of all the sports days played out right above
this amazing discovery", says Amanda.
all going on just inches below the surface. You can really imagine
the kind of people that used to live in the villas.
getting an idea of the kind of food they used to eat because of
the bones being discovered, fine, rich foods. And delicate bits
of glassware imported from the Rhineland have also been discovered.
working on the mosaic were struck by the thought that no-one had
touched that surface in nearly 1600 years.
of them told the Dig Diary team, "it's a spiritual moment, an intellectual
and an emotinal moment. I feel overwhelmed to be here".
mosaic is made up of huge numbers of tiny tiles, or tesserae, multicoloured,
with interlocking designs of squares, coils, petals, and dolphins.
complete underfloor heating system has also emerged - small columns
a couple of foot tall set into the ground and supporting a floor
- a flue and stoke hole have been found that show hot air was pumped
around the stones and up through the tiles.
it's this room has got the experts all talking.
think it might have been much more than just ancient central heating...but
Amanda and Will say you'll have to watch the programme to find out
what the archaeologists think it could be!