Archaeologists fail to solve mystery of Silchester

Archaeologists have packed their tools and left the site of the Silchester Roman town in Hampshire, England, still without an answer as to why the major town was abandoned in the sixth century.

The town of Silchester was first built during the Iron Age and appeared to be a successful commercial center. Roman areas of the town, including large buildings, are believed to have been constructed during the reign of Emperor Nero and then leveled and abandoned within a generation. The entire town was abandoned in the 6th century, with no hint as to its demise.

Professor Mike Fulford, who has been excavating at the site fr 40 years, said, "I suspect it was squeezed out between the rise of the rival kingdoms of Mercia and Wessex, but why was the site never re-used? I don't know. It remains a mystery."