Under a UK farmer’s field, a ‘rare’ Roman mosaic depicting scenes from ‘The Iliad’ was discovered.
Archaeologists discovered a unique Roman mosaic in a farmer’s field in the United Kingdom. The groundbreaking historical piece shows a portion of the story of Achilles, the primary figure in Homer’s epic “The Iliad.” The mosaic was discovered during the lockdown in 2020, according to a press release from the University of Leicester. The initial finding was made by Jim Irvine, the son of landowner Brian Naylor, who called Leicestershire County Council experts.
The mosaic is fairly huge, measuring 11 by 7 meters. It’s thought to be the floor of what was once a dining room or gathering space. It was once part of a vast villa dating from the late Roman period, during the third and fourth centuries A.D., according to the university, which also highlighted that the villa was surrounded by additional structures discovered during the archaeological evaluation and geophysical survey.
Overall, it appears that the property was occupied by a wealthy and knowledgeable collector of classic literature.
“(T)he Rutland mosaic is one of only a few of pieces from around Europe that shows Achilles and his battle with Hector at the culmination of the Trojan War,” according to the university.
“This is without a doubt the most intriguing Roman mosaic find in the United Kingdom in the last century.” It gives us new insights into people’s attitudes at the time, their connections to classical literature, and it also tells us a lot about the person who commissioned the piece,” said John Thomas, deputy director of University of Leicester Archaeological Services and project manager, in a press release.
“This is someone who knew the classics, who had the money to order such a painting, and it’s the very first depiction of these stories we’ve ever found in Britain,” Thomas continued.
Archaeological research began in August 2020, and students and staff from the University of Leicester’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History dug and analyzed more of the site in September of this year. On Thursday, the Roman mosaic and the adjacent villa complex were designated as a scheduled monument.
A scheduled monument must be physically a monument and “its heritage interest must be nationally important,” according to Historic England.
It is legally protected against “unauthorized works or unlawful activities” because of the classification.
The location is on private property and is not accessible to the public. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.