Man Discovers 1,700-Year-Old Roman Villa Underneath His Family Farm

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by Carlos Gil/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Discovering “buried treasure” in your back yard as a child always appeared as an unreachable yet desirable goal. However, as one man discovers a thousand-plus-year-old work of art right beneath his family farm, that dream becomes something else entirely.

Despite the unlikelihood, Jim Irvine experienced exactly that as he was meandering his father’s farm one day. According to the New York Post, Irvine noticed odd shards of unique objects. The outlet stated that after performing a few Google Earth searches, he uncovered one of Britain’s most remarkable Roman mosaics from within the last century.

As per the outlet, the mosaic depicts scenes from Homer’s “The Iliad.”

The scenes, drawn from the iconic epic poem, date to 1,700 years old. The images compose an entire wall in the early Roman villa complex. What makes the discovery even more dynamic is that the ancient villa is the first ever found in the UK. It additionally marks one of only a handful of these iconic works within Europe.

How Irvine Found the Roman Mosaic

Of his discovery, Irvine said, “I noticed these bits of pottery, oyster shells, and what I now know to be orange Roman roof tiles.”

Knowing “they had no business being there,” Irvine’s searches led the curious engineer to discover a previously unnoticed crop mark. From there, the UK resident contacted a local museum. He then dug an eight-foot trench with the unique mosaic laid at the bottom.

Alongside the villa and the mosaic itself, archaeologists at the dig site located multiple human remains. Leicestershire and Rutland county archaeologist, Richard Clark, spoke to the significance of both the Roman villa and the remains.

“The final phase of burials is just one of many intriguing aspects to the investigation, suggesting a continuing knowledge and respect for the site in the post-Roman period.”

Be sure to head on over to the site to see the impressive collection of photos from Irvine’s farm.

Hiker Discovers Ancient Sea Fossil On Mountain Top

Some of our world’s most unique and interesting discoveries are located in even more unique places. While our British friend’s impressive find was located about eight feet beneath the surface on his father’s farm, a TikTok captures one curious individual as he discovers yet another interesting find atop a mountain.

Traveling across mountain tops at about 8,300 feet above sea level, one hiker stumbled across an ancient sea fossil.

Compared to the expanse of the 1,700-year-old villa, the hiker’s discovery measures much smaller. The clip show’s its diminutive stature as the videographer zooms out from the fossil and back to take in his local surroundings.

Further, the engineer’s discovery of the Roman villa is no doubt impressive, dating to ancient times 1,700 years ago. However, comparatively, scientists put the age of the sea fossil between 250 and 500 million years old. At this point in time, many credit the tiny fossil’s location to the ancient flood that led to the story of Noah’s ark. Others simply pointed to the process of mountain building and the movement of tectonic plates over time.