Friday, September 12, 2008

Southwick Roman Villa.

New finds from Southwick Roman Villa

Following an archaeological dig with Manor Hall Middle School children near the Southwick Roman Villa site during National Archaeology Week in July, Giles Standing, an archaeologist from Shoreham, will be running an Open Day at the Southwick Society’s Manor Cottage Heritage Centre on Saturday September 20th. Finds from the dig will be on show and members of the public are also invited to bring along their own finds from gardens in Southwick for identification by experts from the Sussex Archaeological Society and the Portable Antiquities Scheme, particularly objects that might be Roman and from the area near the site of the Villa – Southwick Street and Manor Hall Road.

Southwick Roman Villa was an important 1st century AD country residence and has been described as a scaled-down version of Fishbourne Roman Palace, with glass mosaics with gold leaf and a central Italian-style garden. It was excavated in the 1930s and was mostly covered by Southwick Methodist Church in 1965. Giles would also like people to bring in old newspaper cuttings relating to the Villa, or any old photographs or plans they may have stored away. He would like to meet anyone who may have objects from the previous excavations, particularly the 1930s dig, from which a lot of excavated material has gone missing.

The day will be suitable for all ages and will give the opportunity to see and handle real Roman objects from the current excavation in Southwick. The Heritage Centre is in Southwick Street and the event will run from 10 am to 4 pm, admission free. For further information ring Giles on 01273 440114.