Romans may NOT have introduced bathhouses to Britain, archaeologists say

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() Bathing may not have been a strictly Roman introduction to Britain, according to archaeologists.

Baths and bathhouses have long been top-of-the-list of what the Romans did for us.

But an excavation near Reading has found evidence of a bathhouse which may have existed before the Empire invaded in AD43.

In fact, ruins suggest ancient Britons may have already had saunas in the Iron Age, decades before the Romans arrived.

Bathing may not have been a strictly Roman introduction to Britain, according to archaeologists. Pictured, the researchers potential trench locations

Bathing may not have been a strictly Roman introduction to Britain, according to archaeologists. Pictured, the researchers potential trench locations

Baths and bathhouses have long been top-of-the-list of what the Romans did for us. But an excavation near Reading has found evidence of a bathhouse which may have existed before the Empire invaded in AD43

Baths and bathhouses have long been top-of-the-list of what the Romans did for us. But an excavation near Reading has found evidence of a bathhouse which may have existed before the Empire invaded in AD43.

University of Reading archaeologists discovered the remains of a brick wall which they believe could have constituted a bathroom.

The wall, uncovered during the summer, found bricks 'of dimensions and fabrics not previously recognised at Silchester', The Times reported.

The bricks – in a pre-Roman dig site – were bordered by a channel for water to flow out of the room, which suggest it was used for bathing.

In light of the find, Reading's Professor Michael Fulford told the Times: 'Late Iron Age baths are ever a possibility.'

The famous Roman baths in the Somerset city of Bath were built from AD60 onwards and are one of the country's biggest tourist sites.

The elaborate buildings and construction of aqueducts to supply the water had led historians to believe the invading Roman Empire was responsible for introducing fresh water access and hygienic drainage.

But Professor Fulford's discovery suggests the people of Britain had already invented and built similar bathhouses before Emperor Claudius's troops conquered the country and formed Britannia.

The Sichester dig is taking place between what are now Reading and Basingstoke, and is thought to be one of the Romans' first freshly-built communities.

Named Calleva Atrebatum, it was built on a former Iron Age town – the Iron Age came to an end when the Roman forces settled.

In fact, ruins suggest ancient Britons may have already had saunas in the Iron Age, decades before the Romans arrived

In fact, ruins suggest ancient Britons may have already had saunas in the Iron Age, decades before the Romans arrived

University of Reading archaeologists discovered the remains of a brick wall which they believe could have constituted a bathroom

University of Reading archaeologists discovered the remains of a brick wall which they believe could have constituted a bathroom

The bricks – in a pre-Roman dig site – were bordered by a channel for water to flow out of the room, which suggest it was used for bathing

The bricks – in a pre-Roman dig site – were bordered by a channel for water to flow out of the room, which suggest it was used for bathing

In the same site, Professor Fulford's team also came across human and dog skulls which they believe were a sign of ritual killings.

And they also found coins bearing the name Cara – after the military commander

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