Backyard Bonanza: Medieval Outhouses and Roman Roads Unearthed

medieval_outhouseBackyards haven’t changed much over the past 1,000 years or so, new archaeological findings suggest.

Rubbish pits, storage areas, outhouses, wells and short walls to keep the neighbors at bay are a few of the things that archaeologists in England recently unearthed while digging beneath an old bus depot in the city of Leicester. Dating back to the 12th through 16th centuries, these artifacts were found in what was once an area of densely packed houses and shops, according to archaeologists from the University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS).

“These excavations will provide important new insights into the character of the settlement and the inhabitants living in the southern half of the Roman and medieval town,” John Thomas, one of the ULAS archaeologists

And beneath the garden walls (and the rubbish) the archaeologists found the remains of another, more ancient cityscape. The backyards covered up the place where two second-century Roman roads once intersected. Arched gravel surfaces cover the roads, and drainage gullies, as well as the remnants of stone and timber buildings, line either side of the ancient thoroughfares.

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