Archaeologists find first evidence for Julius Caesar’s invasion of Britain
The first Roman invasion of Britain by Julius Caesar in 55BC is a historical fact, with vivid accounts passed down by Tacitus, Cicero and Caesar himself.
Yet, despite a huge landing force of legionaries from 800 ships, no archaeological evidence for the attack or any physical remains of encampments have ever been found.
But now a chance excavation carried out ahead of a road building project in Kent has uncovered what is thought to be the first solid proof for the invasion.
Archaeologists from the University of Leicester and Kent County Council have found a defensive ditch and javelin spear at Ebbsfleet, a hamlet on the Isle of Thanet.
The shape of the ditch at Ebbsfleet, is similar to Roman defences at Alésia in France, where a decisive battle in the Gallic War took place in 52 BC.
Experts also discovered that nearby Pegwell Bay is one of the only bays in the vicinity which could have provided harbour for such a huge fleet of ships. And its topography echoes Caesar’s own observations of the landing site.