Archaeologists discovered the remains of a Roman villa and bath house under land designated for an Aldi supermarket earlier this month.
The discovery was made by Oxford Archaeology while working for development firm Angle Property, which owns the land in Olney, Buckinghamshire, according to the BBC. Archaeologists discovered intricate, colorful mosaic tiles throughout the vast site while preparing the area for the supermarket’s construction.
According to the BBC, the dig was initially commissioned because of its proximity to an existing Roman archaeological site near Olney. Images of the discovery, which revealed the brightly colored red, white, and blue tiles, were shared on social media.
According to the BBC, because the majority of the ancient complex is believed to be under local roadways, a full investigation cannot be conducted at this time. The mosaic and other site details will be preserved in the discovery location, and construction on the Aldi supermarket is expected to continue without disturbing the find.
“Due to the site location we anticipated some notable Roman remains, but the discovery of this fantastic mosaic far exceeded those expectations,” Oxford Archaeology senior project manager John Boothroyd told the BBC. “To be able to preserve remains of this quality and importance is a brilliant outcome, and one that could only have been achieved with the support of Angle Property.”
Archaeologists recently discovered an ancient Roman shrine near Leicester Cathedral, as well as the remains of an ancient Roman aristocrat near Leeds.