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Work in Spain's Mérida brings to light an extraordinary Roman mosaic from the 3rd century


During the execution of gas connection works in the public thoroughfare in the city of Mérida, workers have brought to light a group of mosaics of Roman origin dating from between the end of the 3rd and the beginning of the 4th century AD. The group is already being studied by the Works Monitoring Team of the Consortium of the Monumental City of Mérida. 


Work in Spain's Mérida brings to light an extraordinary Roman mosaic from the 3rd century
Credit: Mérida City Council

The discovery has been made under the pavement of Benito Toresano Street, where the enormous polychrome mosaic with geometric motifs has been uncovered. The mosaic extends underneath the adjacent houses and experts suggest that it could belong to an ancient Roman villa. The mosaic is well preserved, although it shows damage from previous public works. 




Given the magnitude of the discovery and its impressive size, the municipality has ordered an increase in the size of the original trench in order to find more of these remains and facilitate their documentation. 


Work in Spain's Mérida brings to light an extraordinary Roman mosaic from the 3rd century
Credit: Mérida City Council

The intention is to preserve the find within its original context and not to move it. For the time being, the remains of this precious Roman decoration have been left for passers-by to see. 




The efforts of the City Council and the city's committee of heritage experts are now focused on cleaning up the find and looking for older trenches through which to continue the gas installation works without damaging the mosaic. 


Work in Spain's Mérida brings to light an extraordinary Roman mosaic from the 3rd century
Credit: Mérida City Council

The 'Mosaic of the wild boar and the dogs', so called because of its central emblem, was found in the same street in 1978. The mosaic currently presides over the Assembly of Extremadura. 




At the end of March, a Roman "arca ferrata" from the 4th century AD was also found in Mérida, a container used for the preservation of jewellery and precious objects which would be the modern equivalent of a safe. The discovery was made in the Casa del Mitreo during excavations. This object caught the attention of archaeologists due to its uniqueness and excellent state of preservation. 


Work in Spain's Mérida brings to light an extraordinary Roman mosaic from the 3rd century
Credit: Mérida City Council

The city of Mérida served as a Roman settlement from 25 BC. Built during the reign of Emperor Augustus, it was known as Emerita Augusta in imperial times, and preserves one of the most important Roman architectural ensembles in Europe. In 1993 the city became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Source: El Espanol [trsl. TANN; May 13, 2021]



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