A team of professional archaeologists, along with volunteers, has discovered a full Roman bath suite, complete with hot baths and a cold plunge pool, in the town of Banding, in the Isle of Wight, UK.
"We are extremely pleased with the find," British archaeologist Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe, who led the archaeological team, told Isle of Wight news.
"It's 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," he said.
The Big Dig team, who will be at the villa's south range until August 22, hope to discover how the baths were plumbed in and heated, and learn more about the history of the suite.
"We are hoping to find some really tight evidence for dating the bath suite," said Sir Barry.
The first Big Dig, held at the north range last summer, unearthed fascinating discoveries including a bracelet, several rings, a fibula brooch and a second century coin.
Providing funding can be obtained, it is hoped the Big Dig programme, run jointly by the Oglander Roman Trust, which manages the villa, and the Friends of Brading Roman Villa, will run for five years.
According to Sir Barry, "I very much hope the Big Dig will encourage interest in the villa. It's a fabulous site and we are constantly finding out more about the people who lived there. It really is a living archaeological site."
Full story here.