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Rare 1600-Year-old Mosaic Discovered in British Village

Rare 1600-Year-old Mosaic Discovered in British Village

Wednesday, 4 September, 2019 - 05:00
People gather in the rain as they admire the unearthing of the Roman mosaic. Credit: Boxford History Project

A Roman mosaic depicting a mythical chariot race has been fully uncovered in a Berkshire village. It could be one of Britain's most exciting archaeological discoveries, reported The Daily Mail.

The 1,600-year-old mosaic, which was found in Boxford in 2017 but only fully uncovered recently, is one of only three of its kind in the world and is 'totally unknown' in Britain, experts said.

It depicts a chariot race involving Greek mythological figure Pelops, who is racing to win the hand of love interest Princess Hippodamia. Archaeologist Matt Nichol, who worked on the dig, said the imagery and iconography on the mosaic, which is six meters long, was 'second to none'.

He said: 'There's a real buzz and excitement on this project, I've never seen that before on any project that I've worked on."

The mosaic was found in a field in the village two years ago but was then re-covered with soil to allow farmers to use the field. Joy Appleton, the group's chairman, told Mail Online: “In 10 days only, the volunteers managed to clear the entire mosaic area. We have a passion for understanding our heritage and this is totally unknown in Britain. It is a rare thing."

The mosaic will now be covered over once more to protect it and to allow farming to continue. And the prospect of removing the mosaic and putting it in a museum has been ruled out.

"We have been told that there is no point removing it because it is too big for museum. The local community wants to keep the mosaic where it is," Appleton said.

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