Last year’s excavation already provided clear evidence that Brading was an important Roman site before the villa and its mosaics were built, something that is now – yet again, there was already the sheer size of the North Building – confirmed by the find of a full Roman bath suite – complete with hot baths and a cold plunge pool.
The 2009 Big Dig at the Brading Roman Villa on the Isle of Wight – not to be confused with the London Big Dig, which aims at ‘starting archaeologists’ only – started on the 2nd of August, and will last until 22nd of August. If you wish to see the excavations and the dig team in action, that’s perfectly possible, as the archaeology site is open to the public as long as the Big Dig is ongoing.
Lead archaeologist Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe (who earlier wrote a book about the Roman Baths in Bath) is extremely pleased with the find. He tells the Isle of Wight’s County Press: “Its slightly ruined around the foundations, but you can clearly see the baths. The suite is tucked well away from the rest of the villa, so I think it might pre-date the villa to when there was a timber house on the site.”
Professor Cunliffe is hoping that the Big Dig will encourage further interest in the villa: “Its a fabulous site and we are constantly finding out more about the people who lived there. It really is a living archaeological site.”