After the Fall

Digs & Discoveries May/June 2021

(National Trust Images/Stephen Haywood)

It has long been thought that when Roman rule of Britain ended in the early fifth century A.D., the population retreated to the countryside to eke out a living through subsistence farming. But new dating of a mosaic at Chedworth Roman Villa in Gloucestershire suggests that at least some continued to appreciate the finer things. Radiocarbon dating of charcoal and bone found in a trench dug to build one of the walls of the room where the mosaic was laid down shows that the fancy flooring was crafted in the mid-fifth century A.D. “It’s really exciting to imagine that these people carried on a Romanized way of life and that crafts like mosaic making survived,” says National Trust archaeologist Martin Papworth. 

  • Artifacts May/June 2021

    Magdalenian Wind Instrument

    Read Article
    (Courtesy Carole Fritz et al. 2021/CNRS – the French National Centre for Scientific Research)
  • Around the World May/June 2021


    Read Article
    (Nelson Parker)
  • Digs & Discoveries May/June 2021

    You Are How You Cook

    Read Article
  • Features May/June 2021

    Last Stand of the Hunter-Gatherers?

    The 11,000-year-old stone circles of Göbekli Tepe in modern Turkey may have been monuments to a vanishing way of life

    Read Article
    (Vincent J. Musi)