RUTLAND COUNTY, England: A chance discovery of a villa with a distinctive mosaic from primeval Roman times portraying glimpses of the Iliad by Homer has been unearthed at a farm in the U.K. and launched additional archeological investigations.
The mosaic, discovered in the smallest county in England, Rutland, has been purported to be among the most important sites discovered in the United Kingdom.
Jim Irvine, the son of Brian Naylor, who owns the land, accidentally came across the rare mosaic, after which an archeological team at England’s University of Leicester promptly conducted investigations at the site.
The public body, Historic England, claims the Roman mosaic to be “one of the most remarkable and significant ever found in Britain.”
The mosaic, in addition to the adjoining villa area, is currently under the protection of the government.
It is believed that someone of wealth built the villa some 1700 years ago.
Irvine had accidentally come across unusual pottery while strolling amid the lockdown period last year. He quickly reached out to archeologists.
“My family has been farming this land for 50 or 60 years. During lockdown last year, I noticed some pottery on the ground which didn’t look like any pottery I’d seen before. We came down here with a spade and I dug a shallow trench and I was in exactly the right place,” Irvine stated, as reported by the BBC.
“To see something that has been undisturbed for 1700 years or so has been amazing. The thing that has been keeping me interested is what’s the state of the next thing to come out of the site, because it’s all been amazing so far,” he added.
Historic England has offered funding for promptly excavating the location by the public university in Leicester.
The mosaic, forming the flooring of a section of the villa possibly used to dine or for entertainment purposes, spans eleven meters by seven meters.