Roman mosaic unearthed at Butleigh
Wednesday, September 04, 2013
A ROMAN mosaic that had been hidden beneath a field in Butleigh has been revealed to the world for the first time in 1,600 years.
A team of archaeologists unearthed the mosaic last month, at a secret location.
The dig was carried out by Paul Martin and his business partner Sam Driscoll, of Wiltshire-based Absolute Archaeology.
They have been working on the site on-and-off since 2005, when they used geophysical surveys to discover foundations to buildings and buried floors, as well as building materials, nails, pottery shards and Roman coins.
They had found a portion of the mosaic in a previous dig, and this year decided to find out how much of it had survived over the years.
In the process of the excavation, they also found Romano-British walls, a coin bearing the head of Flavius Julius Constans, who was born in around 320 AD and became Caesar in 333 AD, and a coin depicting Magnentius, who ruled until 353AD.
But pride of the dig had to be the complete mosaic, seen here for the first time in over a thousand years.
Ms Driscoll admitted they had been "relieved" to discover the complete mosaic, which is made of blue and white lias tiles, arranged in geometric shapes.
The mosaic is believed to have been created by the Lindinis Group, a school of, mosaic makers who were based at Ilchester.
"This is the first complete mosaic we have found – and it was amazing to think that we were the first people to see it for over a thousand years," she said.