Archaeologists have uncovered Britain’s first fifth century Roman mosaic, a find of “enormous” historical significance which could change the way historians view the period it dates back to.
The mosaic floor was first discovered in 2017 inside “room 28” at the Chedworth Roman Villa in England, but testing to verify the age of the floor has just been completed, UK conservation charity the National Trust said.
The date is significant as it had been believed towns and villas fell into decay after being abandoned following an economic crash in the fourth century.
Martin Papworth, National Trust archaeologist, said the fifth century marks the end of the Roman era in Britain and the beginning of the Dark Ages — when society is thought by historians to have deteriorated in western Europe as a result of the Roman withdrawal.
The Dark Ages, according to the National Trust, was also a period from which few documents survive, with archaeological evidence scarce.