At the far reach of the ancient Roman empire, archaeologists in the U.K. unearthed two layers of Roman ruins, some left by military forces and others by civilians.
During excavations of a cathedral in Exeter, archaeologists found fragments of several structures dating back 1,900 years, according to a release from Exeter Cathedral.
The oldest ruins were part of a Roman legionary fortress built between 50 and 75 A.D., archaeologist John Allan said in the release. A section of an early road and a timber building were uncovered.
The wooden building was likely part of a “long barrack building,” Allan said.
The fortress ruins were built around the same time as a Roman bathhouse uncovered near Exeter Cathedral in 1971, according to the Devon City Council. The bathhouse was constructed around 60 A.D. and was “the second stone building in the whole of Britain at the time it was built,” city officials said.
The barracks structure was eventually demolished for construction of another Roman building, Allan said in a video the Exeter Cathedral shared on Facebook.
Archaeologists reported finding the ruins of a stone wall on top of the barracks. The wall was part of a Roman town house from the third to fourth century A.D.
Medieval construction eventually buried the Roman structures, Allan said. The stone medieval ruins will serve as the foundation for planned construction at the Exeter Cathedral.
Exeter is in Devon county, about 170 miles southwest of London. The region was conquered by the Roman empire around 50 A.D., according to the Devon County Council. Roman forces built a fortress and city in Exeter while the surrounding area was filled with smaller settlements.
The region became integrated into the ancient Roman economy despite its location on “the far western edge of the empire,” the city council said. The empire continued controlling the region until about 410 A.D.
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