Archaeologists discover buried Roman village in Alderney

Published 31st August 2018

Excavations in Alderney have uncovered what looks to be the largest and oldest Roman settlement yet found in the Channel Islands, buried beneath sand in what is now Longis Common. Dating back to the 2nd Century BC and possibly covering an area of up to 5,000 square metres, the village was likely to have been the island’s first main settlement. The rich contents of related Iron Age burial sites nearby also suggest that at least some of the inhabitants had wealth and social status.

It’s thought that the village may also have had connections at some point with a nearby previously-discovered small Roman fort from the 4th Century AD, which was probably used to guard a local naval base.

It’s unusual to find a Roman settlement as well preserved as the one at Longis, as stones from the abandoned Roman buildings were mostly re-used by local people to construct their own new buildings. But with the Longis settlement, the abandoned buildings were covered with several feet of windblown sand, protecting them from discovery.