Roman mosaic depicting the Iliad found in UK farmer’s field

·

A Roman villa containing a rare mosaic that depicts scenes from Homer’s Iliad has been found in the UK.

The mosaic was discovered beneath a farmer’s field in Rutland and is being investigated by archeologists.

“My family have been farming this land for 50 or 60 years,” Jim Irvine, son of landowner Brian Naylor, told the BBC. 

“During lockdown last year, I noticed some pottery on the ground which didn’t look like any pottery I’d seen before.”

“We came down here with a spade and I dug a shallow trench and I was in exactly the right place.”

“To see something that has been undisturbed for 1700 years or so has been amazing.

“The thing that has been keeping me interested is what’s the state of the next thing to come out of the site because it’s all been amazing so far.”

Rutland Villa Project (Historic England Archive)

Historic England described the mosaic as “one of the most remarkable and significant… ever found in Britain”.

The mosaic features Achilles and his battle with Hector at the conclusion of the Trojan War.

They have funded urgent excavation work at the site by the University of Leicester (UoL).

“This is certainly the most exciting Roman mosaic discovery in the UK in the last century,” said John Thomas, project manager on the evacuations.

“It gives us fresh perspectives on the attitudes of people at the time, their links to classical literature, and it also tells us an enormous amount about the individual who commissioned this piece.

“This is someone with a knowledge of the classics, who had the money to commission a piece of such detail, and it’s the very first depiction of these stories that we’ve ever found in Britain.”

Rutland Villa Project. A team from ULAS/University of Leicester during the excavations of a mosaic pavement.
(Steven Baker/Historic England Archive)

Investigations have revealed the large villa is surrounded by barns, circular structures, and possibly a bathhouse.

The complex is likely to have been occupied by someone with a knowledge of classical literature, between the 3rd and 4th Century AD.

The site is on private land and not accessible to the public but discussions are ongoing with Rutland County Council to set up an off-site display of the villa complex and its finds, Historic England said.

Further excavations are planned on the site in 2022.

Mr. Irvine said the field will no longer be used for farming so the area can be protected.

Source: BBC

Advertisement

Share:

KEEP UP TO DATE WITH TGH

By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Advertisement

Latest News

Mykonos shop owner reflects on Australia, Greece and crystals

Greek Australian, Apostolos Triantafyllou, 56, has been living in Mykonos for over 30 years now, and running his jewellery store 'Amethyst'.

Niki Louca shares her recipe for chicken pie with mushrooms

Niki Louca from My Greek Kitchen shares her favourite recipe for kotopita with manitaria (chicken pie with mushrooms) with The Greek Herald.

Dr Trakakis to give lecture in Melbourne on the late poet Tasos Leivaditis

Dr Nick Trakakis will give a seminar on Thursday, May 30 at the Greek Centre in Melbourne on the late poet Tasos Leivaditis.

Greek Australian artist VASSY receives Billions List award

Greek Australian-bred, singer, songwriter and dance music producer VASSY, has been honoured with the Billions List Award by APRA AMCOS.

Themis Chryssidis to reinvent his acclaimed Adelaide restaurant

Themis Chryssidis is transforming his acclaimed city restaurant, eleven, with a new menu and more affordable prices.

You May Also Like

The winners and losers of the 2022 Federal Budget

The Albanese government has unveiled its first budget, promising to make life "easier for Australians," here are the winners and losers.

Greece’s Chios island grows mysterious healing plant

Known as the "painted village," Pyrgi is undoubtedly one of the most photogenic places in the world. Located on Chios, the fifth largest of Greece's...

Remote archeological site in Crete reveals ancient Roman amphitheatre

Archeologists working in a remote part of Crete have discovered an ancient Roman odeon that they think would have been used for events.