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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 July, 2005, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
Remains reveal Roman bath layout
The layout of a Roman hot bath has been unearthed in a community dig at the site of a villa in Wiltshire.

Archaeologists believe the baths consisted of up to four rooms, with hot and warm rooms and possibly a hot plunge bath.

The villa complex at Groundwell Ridge in Swindon was first discovered in 1996 under a housing estate. A range of cold baths were found last year.

The dig is part of a community project using archaeologists and volunteers.

'Prosperous existence'

Excavations since 1996 have revealed a large villa with baths, gymnasium, stables and outbuildings. It is believed to have been abandoned 1600 years ago.

Archaeologists found that some of the stacks of floor supporting tiles in the hot baths have survived intact.

Pete Wilson, English Heritage's head of Research Policy (Roman Archaeology), said: "The baths show that the inhabitants of the villa enjoyed a comfortable and prosperous existence, to the extent that they took on Roman practices and values during the second and fourth centuries AD."

The dig is open to the public during National Archaeology Week from 6 to 24 July.

Archaeologists hunt for hot baths
29 Jun 05 |  Wiltshire
Academic praise for Roman remains
19 Jul 04 |  Wiltshire
Roman villa found at new estate
16 Jul 04 |  Wiltshire
Archaeologists begin dig on site
09 Jun 04 |  Wiltshire

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