‘Extremely rare’ burial ground for the rich discovered in the UK
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While we may be living modern and busy lives nowadays, there is something rather special about digging up the past.
And it's made even more special when discovering the history surrounding an area right on your doorstep.
The residents of Southwark, London, recently discovered an 'extremely unique' Roman mausoleum sitting right on their doorstep, or more underneath it, really - though what they found inside is even more surprising.
The discovery was made after a dig led by the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) on behalf of Landsec and Transport for London (TfL) was approved.
The remains of the Roman mausoleum were found at the Liberty of Southwark site in Borough, and feature preserved floors and walls.
Archaeologists believe the site was used as some type of burial ground or even a tomb for the wealthier members of Roman society.
What surprised MOLA the most is how well-persevered the Roman mausoleum is, making them believe it is the most intact ever to be discovered in Britain.
Alongside the central mosaic, archaeologists discovered raised platforms and steps on the lower side that were like new.
Two separate layers were found on the site, with another similarly designed mosaic found below the first floor.
They believe the building has changed from its original state, with the floor raised at some point in time.
"All signs indicate this was a substantial building. Perhaps two storeys high," MOLA said.
Antonietta Lerz, senior archaeologist at MOLA, added: "This relatively small site in Southwark is a microcosm for the changing fortunes of Roman London – from the early phase of the site where London expands and the area has lavishly decorated Roman buildings, all the way through to the later Roman period when the settlement shrinks and it becomes a more quiet space where people remember their dead.
"It provides a fascinating window into the living conditions and lifestyle of this part of the city in the Roman period."
As the site is a burial location, you'd perhaps expect to find some coffins - however, excavators found no such thing.
Instead, they found more than 100 coins, fragments of pottery, roofing tiles and pieces of metal.
While the sight is now being redeveloped into a complex of offices, homes and shops, the public has been reassured archaeological treasures would be persevered and accessible to the community for many generations to come.
Southwark Council cabinet member Catherine Rose said: "The rediscovery of this Roman mausoleum and mosaics is a testament to the rich tapestry of our past."
Featured Image Credit: MOLA
Topics: UK News