The largest Roman mosaic discovery in London in fifty years was made

The largest expanse of Roman mosaic found in London for more than half a century has been unearthed at a site believed to have been a venue for high-ranking officials to lounge in while being served food and drink.

Dating from the late second century to the early third century, the mosaic’s flowers and geometric patterns were a thrilling, once-in-a-lifetime find, said Antonietta Lerz, of the Museum of London Archaeology (Mola).

It was discovered about a month ago at a construction site near London Bridge. The mosaic, which is eight metres long, will be lifted later this year for preservation and conservation work, with the eventual hope of it being publicly displayed.

Its main panel features large, colourful flowers surrounded by bands incorporating a twisted-rope design, set within a red tessellated floor.

There are also geometric elements and lotus flowers in the main mosaic and a smaller nearby panel.

David Neal, an expert in Roman mosaic, has attributed the design of the larger panel to a team of mosaicists known as the Acanthus group, who developed a unique style.


The smaller panel is a close parallel to one unearthed in Trier, Germany, suggesting that London artisans travelled abroad.

The archaeologists from Mola, who have worked at the site since last June, believe the room housing the mosaic was a triclinium, containing dining couches on which people would recline to eat and drink while admiring the decorative flooring. The walls were also richly decorated.

The triclinium may have been part of a Roman mansio, effectively an upmarket motel offering accommodation, dining and stabling to state officials and couriers travelling to and from Londinium across the river.

The footprint of the building is still being uncovered, but it appears to have been a large complex around a central courtyard.

Another large Roman building was also found at the site, which archaeologists say was likely to have been the private residence of a wealthy individual or family. Traces of lavishly painted walls, terrazzo and mosaic floors, coins and jewellery have been found.

Among the items recovered are a decorated bronze brooch, a bone hairpin and a sewing needle. “These finds are associated with high-status women who were following the latest fashions and the latest hairstyles,” said Lerz.

It was “the heyday of Roman London”, she added. “The buildings on this site were of very high status. The people living here were living the good life.”

The site is being redeveloped as The Liberty of Southwark, a complex of offices, homes and shops that is a joint-venture by U+I and Transport for London.

Related Posts

Archaeologists are unable to believe their eyes after discovering an intriguing fossil of a dragon

Archaeοlοgists are uпable tο believe their eyes after discοveriпg aп iпtriguiпg fοssil οf a dгаɡοп iп Chiпa. Recently, the “China dragon foѕѕіɩѕ” were on display at the…

15 of the world’s largest and most unusual military vehicles are displayed in a video.

Watch oᴜt for these vehicles they aren’t your ordinary vehicles you see in the streets everyday. I’m not a wаг zone armored military vehicle kind of gal….

First-ever discovery of a pregnant Ancient Egyptian mummy in a “shocking” world

A team of Polish scientists say they have discovered the only known example of an embalmed pregnant Egyptian mummy. The discovery was made by researchers at the Warsaw…

Turkish Looters Explode Open 2,600-Year-Old Lycian Rock-Cut Tombs

Hoping, perhaps, to lay their hands on something comparable to the famed Elmali Treasures, looters used explosives to break through the entrance of a 2,500-year-old Lycian rock-cut…

An Incredible 11,500-Year-Old Wooden House, Discovered In Britain

This 11,500-year-old wooden cabin, 6,000 years older than Stonehenge, is one of the most important buildings in Great Britain. It served as a shelter from the winds…

Mummified Mice Found in Colorful 2,000-year-old Egyptian Tomb

Mummified humans are a familiar discovery in Egypt, and recently come to light are mummified cats, dogs, and falcons. But mice? Yes, dozens of preserved mice were…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *