Results internationally important as Ingleby Barwick site is one of the most northerly surviving Roman villas in the Roman Empire
A new report has revealed one of Europe’s largest housing estates as holding vital historical secrets.
The results of an excavation that took place in have been pulled together in a publication revealing its rich Roman heritage.
It’s taken experts from across the country almost a decade to filter through the many findings at the excavated site.
Robin Daniels, archeology officer for Tees Archaeology, said: “It takes a long time to produce specialist publications like this.
“Imagine someone trying to look at all of the different things in your house.
“Everything from pollen to animal bones to jewellery has to be analysed by experts – it takes time to do it and pull it all together.
“The actual excavation finished in 2004/2005 and since then they have been bringing together all of the information.
In the mid-1970s planning permission was granted for a large area of housing at Ingleby Barwick which developed as six “villages” over the next 40 years.
One of the last “villages” to be developed included an area where geomagnetic surveys revealed a series of stone-founded buildings typical of a Roman villa.
Archaeological excavations were carried out by Archaeological Services at Durham University.
The results are internationally important as the Ingleby Barwick site is one of the most northerly surviving Roman villas in the Roman Empire.
Although the principal building of the villa was not excavated, the surrounding structures including a bath house, barn, mill and several corn-driers were very well preserved and allowed a detailed picture of life on Roman Teesside to be painted.
One of the biggest surprises at the villa site was a small building to the east of the main complex with an under floor heating system usually associated with bath houses or steam rooms.
The finds from the villa included all the trappings of daily life including animal bones and broken pottery along with more exotic items.
It’s hoped that the main finds will be displayed at Ingleby Barwick Library in the coming months.
s well as housing a Roman villa, the archaeologists found that the site has been occupied throughout pre-history. Evidence from worked flints suggested that hunter-gatherers had passed through the area in the Mesolithic (c. 4000 BC).
The remains of three beaker pots from the early Bronze Age (c. 2200-1900) were also found.
Robin said: “There’s always been people living at Ingleby Barwick. I think it’s something that we’re hoping people are going to become more aware of.
“Displaying the findings is something that we need to do to raise awareness of the heritage of the area.”
The report called, A Roman Village at the Edge of Empire, is available from the Council of British Architecture priced £25.