ARCHAEOLOGISTS on Anglesey have made a startling discovery about the Roman occupation of Wales.
The Tai Cochion Roman settlement at Llanedwen on the banks of the Menai Strait is the first evidence of a civilian Roman presence in Wales between the first and fourth century AD.
Project Manager for the Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, David Hopewell said: “We found a settlement on Anglesey which we believe would have been a crossing point for Segonitum in Caernarfon.
“We found some incredibily interesting things in the settlement, however, what’s really significant about the site is that it is a civilian settlement. Every other settlement from the period is made up of round hovels, nothing like the Roman-style buildings we’re seeing here.
“We previously thought the Romans were absolutely an occupational force in Wales, and all the evidence until now shows it was very much a military occupation.
“This is what makes the findings in Llanedwen so surprising.There’s just nothing remotely like this in the whole of Wales.”
The Tai Cochion settlement, along with the Roman villa that was recently discovered in West Wales, shows that historians’ traditional view of Roman Wales could be completely wrong.
Archaeologists found coins, pottery, buildings and a well during the excavation, as well as a roman road leading further into Anglesey.
Mr Hopewell added: “The excavations were part of a major ongoing project funded by CADW.
“They didn’t really expect to find much of anything at Llanedwen, but it’s been fantastic and we’re now at the post-excavation phase of our work.
“The next step, if we can get the funding, will be to follow the settlement’s Roman road further into Anglesey.”