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roman bowl and ladle

Roman Bowl and Ladle

3D photography at SOAG's Roman Villa

Beginning in 2017 SOAG has used the services of member Richard Miller to create 3D images of our open trenches and some of our key finds. This webpage provides 3D illustrations of the following:

The viewpoints from which the 3D photos on this page were taken are shown, and linked to, by the red arrows on the following site map.

(Click on the image for a larger view) 

How to view the 3D images

In the 3D images below click on the Forward button to begin. The 3D model takes a few seconds to load. Click on the Fullscreen icon at the bottom right of the picture. The image can be manipulated, i.e. rotated and zoomed, either by touch screen or using a mouse, and the object can be moved by using Shift woth the mouse. To exit the model press the Escape key.

(The still images on this page can all be enlarged by clicking on the image.)

The Roman cesspit and the Trier beakers

The cesspit is a projection at the northeast corner of the villa. It was excavated to a depth of about 2m. In two corners broken vessels were found. They were reconstructed by SOAG member John Hefferan and identified as motto beakers made in Trier in northern Germany. These were valuable objects, yet it appears that they could have been deliberately placed at the bottom of the pit when it was first dug.

Above: Dave Jobling, lead excavator of the cesspit, holding the two beakers. (click on photo to enlarge)

Right; 3D photo of the cesspit


Trier motto beakers

The vessels are “motto beakers”. These are well known, though rare, associated with drinking wine, and usually inscribed with boozy slogans, such as 'long life'. They are beautiful objects, fine examples of Moselkeramik, made in Trier between 150 AD and the 300s, though not exported after 250AD.

The IUVAT beaker

This vessel (3D photo, right), found in the cesspit in 2016 by Dave Jobling, is of the “dimpled” form, with six regularly shaped depressions around the body of the vessel, each decorated with a white circle, denoting grapes. Also prominent are white barbotine depictions of vines.

Its inscription reads IVVAT, our villa's first example of orthography. This is a transliteration of IUVAT, (as in AUDENTIS FORTUNA IUVAT - Virgil’s “fortune favours the brave”). In this context it means "May this help".

A hole can be seen in the base of the beaker and analysis of the fracture suggests that it may have been pierced from the inside, supporting a theory that the beaker was deliberately put out of use prior to deposition.

The AMANTIDA beaker

This vessel, found in the cesspit in 2017 by Anne Strick, is similar in design to IUVAT but is not dimpled. The motto, AMANTIDA (AMANTI DA), translates as "Give this to a loved one'".

Above: Anne, with the fragments before assembly by John Hefferan

Right: 3D photo of the AMANTIDA beaker

The second bath house 

In 2017 in Trench 18, the first evidence was found of the existence of a second bath-house. (The first is at the west end of the villa and has since been back backfilled).

The most notable feature was a small plunge pool. The photo(right), shows the tiled floor of the pool; the opus signinum lining (which is waterproof); and at the bottom of the facing edge a lead drainage pipe.

Late In the 2018 season the first evidence was uncovered of a hypocaust (underfloor heating system).
Below left; SOAG diggers Stephanie and Geoff examine their find.

Below Right: 3D photo of the hypocaust



Trench 7

In the 3D photo, right, the area exposed in Trench 7 is part of the corridor that runs along the southern side of the villa.

Of particular interest is the curved feature that runs from top centre to left centre. It is bordered with flints and surfaced with concrete. Because it runs under the southern wall of the villa it represents the first evidence of any structure that pre-dates the villa.

(Trench 7 has now been backfilled)


Richard Miller who created the 3D photos on Agisoft Metashape and published them on Sketchfab.

John Hefferan - for assembling the broken pots.

Hazel Williams - Dig Director.

All SOAG diggers who worked in these trenches in the period 2016-2018.


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