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Roman mosaic uncovered at Chedworth Roman Villa

Thrilled archaeologists have made an exciting discovery about Gloucestershire’s Roman past. The two-week project at Chedworth Roman Villa has unearthed a mosaic which has taken all-involved by surprise.

Roman mosaic uncovered at Chedworth Roman Villa
Archaeologists ast work at Chedworth Roman Villa 
[Credit: Gloucestershire Echo]
In charge of the excavation, National Trust archaeologist, Dr Martin Papworth said: “This is a brand new, unknown mosaic.

“The excavation site, which we are working on, had been excavated by the late Sir Ian Richmond in the 1960s, and he had not recorded any mosaic floors during his work here. His assistant, stone-mason Terry Mooney, who lives locally, came for a visit and clarified that their work concentrated only on tracing the Roman walls. The mosaics which we have just uncovered might have been seen by Victorians in 1860s, but nobody living has seen them before the dig this week.”

The mosaic comes from a grand Roman reception room in the north wing of the villa in Yanworth. Its discovery allows the archaeologists to form a better picture of the scale of the room.

Roman mosaic uncovered at Chedworth Roman Villa
Martin Papworth with some of the mosaic
 [Credit: Gloucestershire Echo]
The current dig is part of a five-year project of summer excavations, which began last year. The 2013 summer dig also uncovered mosaics.

Due to the fragile nature of the mosaics found this year and last, the villa has been put on the English Heritage list of monuments at risk.

Archaeologists hope the new discovery will prompt the development of a conservation building to protect the hidden treasures of the north wing, like the one at the west side of the site.

The villa funded the £3 million conservation building on the west side thanks to a £700,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, a £100,000 grant from the Garfield Weston Foundation and other donations.

Roman mosaic uncovered at Chedworth Roman Villa
Some of the recently discovered mosaic
 [Credit: Gloucestershire Echo]
All discoveries made this week will remain on display to the public until August 29.

After then the archaeologists will put semi-permanent protective conservation layers, topped up with soil, over the findings.

For more information and images of the excavations, follow the blog by archaeologists working on site:

Source: Gloucestershire Echo [August 22, 2014]

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