ARCHAEOLOGISTS are returning to Chedworth Roman Villa for the final dig of the five-year programme.

A team of National Trust archaeologists will be exploring what lies underneath parts of the villa, some of which have not been explored, for three weeks from August 14. 

The work in the northern wing of the villa hopes to build on discoveries of mosaics in the last four years.

The dig is the last of a five-year programme to investigate the north range of the villa, aimed at understanding more about its original structure and use, and to see what condition the surviving archaeology is in.

The work will help the National Trust to guide decisions on how best to protect the ancient remains for the future.

Martin Papworth and Nancy Grace are the National Trust’s South West Archaeologists leading the digs.

Martin said: "Over the last four years excavations at Chedworth Roman Villa have given us a much better understanding of the way the villa was built and altered over time.

"We found remains of the villa that burnt down in 2nd century and were wowed by a discovery of the great reception room mosaic.

"A hypocaust that was buried in the 4th century revealed evidence of the villa’s original decoration, including painted plaster and mosaics of the lost water features.

"We also found a piece of Cippolino marble that would have been a very expensive material used to furnish the villa and brought all the way from the Mediterranean."

The archaeologists will be supported by a number of experienced volunteers and students, but anybody who visits Chedworth during the dig is welcome to stop by and watch what is happening and see any new discoveries for themselves as the ground reveals its secrets.

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