Dig the Romans

Our plans to go on a dig last month were foiled by storms and flooding, so we were especially glad to have another chance in October when we met near North Wraxall where Wessex Archaeology and a team of volunteers are excavating a Roman building.

It’s a long way from our normal stamping ground, so this time parents were invited to stay and join in.

First, Project Officer Phil Andrews took us around the bath-house and showed the different rooms where wealthy Romans once bathed and entertained their guests.

Then we had a chance to help, by excavating 2 test pits on a mysterious mound 100m further up the valley. Phil needed our help to find out what had been there. Was it a cistern to hold water for the bath-house, a water feature or perhaps an area where the builders prepared materials for building the bath-house? We weren’t there long enough to give an answer but Phil and his team will continue the work next week.

Armed with all this knowledge, we each had a go at drawing an artist’s impression of the bath-house as it would have looked. This month is the Big Draw, so we hope some of our pictures will go up on the national Big Draw website.

By 1.00pm the sky looked very grey – not what we had planned for our Roman picnic. But the rain held off just long enough for those who stayed to eat.

Download a page that explains how Romans used bath-houses like the one at Truckle Hill.

You can find out more about the excavation on the Wessex Archaeology website.

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