Ruins of a sprawling ancient Roman villa discovered in the United Kingdom have been reburied, just one year after their discovery was announced. From a report: Historic England, a government preservation organization, hopes the move will safeguard the “first-of-its-kind” archeological site for future generations, reports BBC News. The discovery last year delighted experts, who underscored its historical significance. “These archaeological remains are a fantastic find and are far more than we ever dreamed of discovering at this site,” said Keith Emerick, inspector of ancient monuments at Historic England, in a statement last year. “They are already giving us a better knowledge and understanding of Roman Britain.”
Archaeologists unearthed the ruins in Scarborough, England, in 2021 when investigating land slated for a housing development. The structures found are likely from a “high status” property, such as a luxury dwelling or religious site. The compound, which included a luxury bathhouse, could even have been a “stately home-cum-gentleman’s club,” reported the Guardian’s Alexandra Topping last year. Roughly the size of two tennis courts, the villa had a circular center that was probably a tower, per the BBC, with hallways leading to several rooms and outbuildings. Regardless of how the villa was used, archeologists agree it was “designed by the highest-quality architects in northern Europe in the era and constructed by the finest craftsmen,” said Karl Battersby, who works for the North Yorkshire county council, to the Guardian.