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Perfectly preserved Roman mosaic discovered under Italian vineyard


The floor is perfectly preserved (Picture: Comune di Negrar di Valpolicella)

A beautifully preserved Roman mosaic floor has been discovered under an Italian vineyard.

The intricate tiling was found by archaeologists this week after work on the site in a hilly area above the town of Negar di Valpolicella, near Verona, started work again.

Back in 1922, the remains of a villa, believed to date to the 3rd century AD, were found on the sit but it had been abandoned until last summer.

A team from Superintendent of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of Verona started digging then, followed by more digs in October and February but work was suspended because of the outbreak of the pandemic, as Italy went into a strict lockdown.

It was found under a vineyard (Picture: Comune di Negrar di Valpolicella)
They also found some of the building’s foundations (Picture: Comune di Negrar di Valpolicella)

Some restrictions are being lifted in Italy as cases continue to fall and just a week into starting work again at the archaeological site, they found the floor beneath a row of vines.

They’re still gently excavating the area but images posted online showing an amazing pristine floor and the foundations of the villa.

It had been just one week since the team started back after the coronavirus pandemic (Picture: Comune di Negrar di Valpolicella)

A post on the town’s Facebook page said that after decades of failed attempts, they have finally brought the floor and foundations to light.

It added that authorities will now liaise with the owners of the area and the municipality to ‘identify the most appropriate ways of making this archaeological treasure, which has always been hidden beneath our feet, available and accessible.’

Amazing (Picture: Comune di Negrar di Valpolicella)

Historian Myko Clelland posted about the discovery on Twitter and it soon went viral with over 389,000 likes and 78,900 retweets.

He said: ‘Newly discovered just outside of Verona, what could be this year’s biggest discovery – an almost entirely intact Roman mosaic villa floor!’

When people asked how something so beautiful could end up buried, he explained: ‘There are so many examples of similar, it can be baffling at times! In former Mesopotamia there are hills in areas that should be entirely flat.

‘They’re actually remains of entire towns, where residents built layer after layer until the whole thing became metres tall.’

He added: ‘A thousand possible reasons, but a very loose rule of thumb is about an inch of soil per century, it’s amazing how humanity has a habit of just building on top of previous efforts. Rome is a fascinating example, many rediscoveries there on a regular basis!’

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