A Roman Mosaic Found in a Farmer’s Field, UK

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A Roman mosaic and villa was discovered beneath a farmer’s field in the UK.
The mosaic depicts scenes from Homer’s “The Iliad” and is located within an elaborate villa complex.
The rare mosaic was found by the family that owns the land during lockdown last year.

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The UK’s first Roman mosaic has been found. 

The initial discovery of the rare mosaic was made during the 2020 lockdown by Jim Irvine, son of the landowner, Brian Naylor.

The mosaic depicts scenes from Homer’s “The Iliad” and is part of the story about Achilles, the Greek hero. A villa complex surrounds the mosaic.

According to The Guardian, John Thomas, deputy director of University of Leicester Archaeological Services, and project manager for the excavations, called it the “most exciting Roman mosaic discovery in Britain in the last century.”

Both were designated as a scheduled monument and Historic England was able, during the 2020 lockdown to secure funding for urgent archaeological investigations at the site.

The site was further explored by students and staff of the University of Leicester’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History in September 2021.

According to Historic England, the rare art was found on the floor in what is thought to have been a dining or entertaining area.

Mosaics were frequently used in public and private buildings throughout the Roman Empire. Some of them feature mythological and historical figures. This mosaic is unique to the UK as it features Achilles and Hector at the end of the Trojan War. It is one of only a few examples from Europe.

The villa discovered was also surrounded with a variety of buildings and features, including circular structures, aisled barns, and a possible bathhouse.

The complex was likely to have been occupied from the late Roman period by a wealthy individual with knowledge of classical literature.

The site is private and not accessible to the general public.

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