Julius Caesar wrote about his forays into Great Britain, but no solid archaeological evidence ever existed. The first hint came in 2010, when a road construction project in the village of Ebbsfleet unearthed an ancient defensive ditch, but researchers weren’t sure of its origin. Further excavations in 2016 and 2017 confirmed that a fort had once stood there, and that it had been built in a style similar to other fortifications found in France and Germany dating back to the time of Julius Caesar. Archaeologists are now convinced that the ancient fort, uncovered in the southeastern English county of Kent, was once part of the Roman general's invasions of 55 and 54 B.C.
All hail Caesar:
- Ebbsfleet sits beside Pegwell Bay, which overlooks the English Channel. The fort was likely occupied by Roman soldiers who kept watch over more than 800 ships of the invasion fleet.
- Archaeologists also discovered the ancient remains of individuals who had apparently been killed in a conflict. Their bones showed sharp cut marks, and were found near several non-British iron weapons.
- The weapons included the head of an iron spear identified as a Roman pilum, which is similar to weapons found in southern Gaul, where Caesar routinely recruited soldiers.