Roman remains uncovered in central London in 2022 were revealed Tuesday to be an “extremely rare” Roman tomb.
The “completely unique” Roman mausoleum was uncovered at the Liberty of Southwark site in London, right between The Shard, Borough Market, and London Bridge station, according to Metro. It is believed to be the most in-tact Roman tomb to be discovered in Britain, but no coffins or human remains appear to have been discovered at the site, the Guardian noted.
More than 100 coins, pottery fragments, roofing tiles, and bits of metal have been found at the site, along with a beautiful mosaic. The site is also the largest to be uncovered in Britain over the last 50 years, and it is hoped that the entire structure will be restored and retained for public display, the BBC reported.
I’d like the view the newly revealed #Roman tomb mosaic in Southwark, London, in context. As you can see from the map, below, the site is next to the major Roman road leading into the southern entrance of Londinium, just south of the bridge across the Thames. #archaeology 1/ pic.twitter.com/KMpfib1jXg
— Chapps (@chapps) June 13, 2023
“All signs indicate this was a substantial building, perhaps two storeys high.” Museum of London Archaeology said of the discovery, the BBC continued.
Excavators believe that the original structure was likely modified at some point in the past, and the owners added a secondary level or raised floor. The raised platforms were still intact, and the steps to the lower parts were also unharmed. (RELATED: Ancient Roman Shrine Found Near Leicester Cathedral)
“This relatively small site in Southwark is a microcosm for the changing fortunes of Roman London – from the early phase of the site where London expands and the area has lavishly decorated Roman buildings, all the way through to the later Roman period when the settlement shrinks and it becomes a more quiet space where people remember their dead,” MOLA senior archaeologist Antoinetta Lerz told the Guardian. “It provides a fascinating window into the living conditions and lifestyle of this part of the city in the Roman period.”
The site is currently being developed into a complex of offices, homes, and shops.