Posted: 27 Nov 2021 20:24 GMT
Archaeologists also found human remains in the rubble that covered the mosaic.
A team of archaeologists from the United Kingdom has unearthed an immense Roman mosaic, “the first of its kind” in the country, and this November 25 the authorities have placed it under protection as a historical monument.
The mosaic find was made in 2020 by Jim Irvine, the son of a Rutland County landowner, who subsequently contacted the Leicester County Council archaeological group.
In collaboration with the Historic England organization, archaeologists and students from the University of Leicester (ULAS) carried out the relevant excavations and investigations, thus revealing the remains of the spectacular work.
“This archaeological discovery has taken up most of my free time over the last year. Between my normal work and this, it has kept me very busy and has been a fascinating journey,” Irvin told Historic England.
The mosaic measures 11 meters long by almost 7 meters wide and represents part of the history of the Greek hero Achilles.
The artwork is part of the floor of what the researchers believe was a large dining room or entertainment area.
“The mosaics were used in a variety of public and private buildings throughout the Roman Empire and often featured famous figures from history and mythology. However, the Rutland mosaic It’s unique in the United Kingdom because it presents Achilles and his battle with Hector at the end of the Trojan War and is one of the few examples from all over Europe, “the experts explain.
The mosaic stands on the grounds of what was a large villa occupied in the late Roman period, between the 3rd and 4th centuries d. C.
The villa, in turn, is surrounded by the remains of other ancient buildings, including what appear to be corridor barns, circular structures, and a possible bathhouse.
Archaeologists assume that the complex belonged to a wealthy person “with knowledge of classical literature.”
On the other hand, in the place, human remains were also found among the rubble that covered the mosaic. Investigators estimate that person was buried when the building was no longer occupied, on a date very late Roman or early medieval. Its find gives an idea of how the site may have been used during that relatively little-known post-Roman historical period.
“To have found such a rare mosaic of this size, as well as a surrounding villa, is remarkable,” stated Duncan Wilson, director of Historic England. “By protecting that site, we can continue to learn from it and look forward to what future excavations can teach us about the people who lived there more than 1,500 years ago,” he concluded.