An archaeologist from the University of Nottingham has been working on a seemingly unique Roman building discovered near the Roman town of Venta Icenorum in Norfolk (UK).
Dr Will Bowden (Associate Professor in Roman Archaeology) directed trial excavations of the building, working with members of the Norfolk Archaeological and Historical Research Group. The preliminary findings of the excavation have recently been published in the Journal of Roman Archaeology.
The plan of the building was first identified through aerial photographs taken by Mike Page, who regularly records archaeological sites in Norfolk. It is a building of particularly unusual design in which two angled wings converge on a central structure. Trial excavations suggest that it dates to around the 3rd century AD.
The building is of a design that is very unusual for Britain and indeed the rest of the Roman Empire. It is particularly intriguing to find such a structure in the former territory of the Iceni (the tribe of Boudica) as villas and other monumental structures are relatively rare in this area.
The most likely explanation for the building is that it is some kind of temple, although there were very few finds associated with it, suggesting that it may only have been used for a short period or have been built for a single event or festival.
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Department of Archaeology : University of Nottingham