Leisure Seekers

Digs & Discoveries September/October 2021

(© MAP Archaeological Practice)

At a housing development site in North Yorkshire, England, archaeologists have unearthed a sprawling Roman building complex dating to between the second and fourth centuries A.D. In addition to a bathhouse, the complex included at its center an unusual circular structure with four square rooms branching off it. Similar Roman buildings are known from North Africa and Portugal, says Historic England archaeologist Keith Emerick, but this architectural layout is unique in Roman Britain. The researchers think the complex was either a luxurious Roman villa or a religious sanctuary—or perhaps a hybrid. “Another interpretation of the site is a kind of gentlemen’s club,” Emerick says. “A modern equivalent would be a high-status leisure hotel that serves a number of functions, like a spa and sauna.”

  • Artifacts September/October 2021

    Late Medieval Ring

    Read Article
    (© Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales)
  • Around the World September/October 2021


    Read Article
    (ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute)
  • Digs & Discoveries September/October 2021

    Viking Fantasy Island

    Read Article
    (Courtesy Flinders University)
  • Features September/October 2021

    Secret Rites of Samothrace

    Reimagining the experience of initiation into an ancient Greek mystery cult

    Read Article
    (© American Excavations Samothrace)