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Explained Dr Fitzpatrick: “Sailing from somewhere between Boulogne and Calais, Caesar says at sunrise they saw Britain far away on the left hand side..“As they set sail opposite the cliffs of Dover, Caesar can only be describing the white chalk cliffs around Ramsgate which were being illuminated by the rising sun.“Thanet has never been considered as a possible landing site before because it was separated from the mainland until the Middle Ages.

Principal investigator Prof Colin Haselgrove, also of the University of Leicester, said: “It seems likely the treaties set up by Caesar formed the basis for alliances between Rome and British royal families.

“This eventually resulted in the leading rulers of south east England becoming client kings of Rome.

The shape was very similar to some of the Roman defences at Alesia in France, where the decisive battle in the Gallic War took place in 52 BC.

Caesar’s own account of his landing in 54 BC backs the study which was funded by the Leverhulme Trust and will be featured in BBC Four’s Digging For Britain.

Radiocarbon dating of pottery also fits the period.

Dr Andrew Fitzpatrick, of the University of Leicester’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History, said: “The site at Ebbsfleet lies on a peninsular that projects from the south eastern tip of the Isle of Thanet.

Almost 100 years after Caesar, in AD 43 the emperor Claudius invaded Britain.

“The conquest of south east England seems to have been rapid, probably because the kings in this region were already allied to Rome.

Being so close to the continent, Thanet was the gateway to new ideas, people, trade and invasion from earliest times.

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