Discovery of a luxury “domus” with an “incomparable” mosaic in Rome

Italy’s culture ministry announced Tuesday the discovery of a luxury Roman “domus” more than 2,000 years old, including a mosaic “incomparable” composed of shells, fragments of glass and marble.

This “domus”, a villa built by wealthy Romans, is located in the heart of the Colosseum archaeological park. “authentic treasure”said Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano, quoted in a press release.

The house rises in several floors “and what makes the discovery extraordinary is the existence of an extraordinary wall mosaic (…) incomparable due to the complexity of the scenes created”the press release emphasizes.

In the mosaic, three large ships ride the waves towards a coastal city whose walls are dotted with small towers and porticoes, in a scene that suggests the owner of the domus has won the battle.

Spectacular water games

Discovered by archaeologists who discovered a series of walls in 2018, the Domus has several floors. Only a few pieces have been explored so far, and excavations will continue until 2024.

The main room, located around the atrium, is a cave-shaped banquet hall that was used in the summer. The owner, a nobleman probably a senator, would also create for his guests “Amazing water games”thanks to the lead pipes placed between the decorated walls.

The mosaic comes from “the last decades of the 2nd century BC.” and is performed with “various kinds of shells, Egyptian blue tesserae, rare glass, small fragments of marble or other kinds of stone”among others.

Available to the public “as soon as possible”

Among the vines and lotus leaves we can also see piles of weapons with Celtic trumpets, warships and tridents, “perhaps alluding to the double triumph, land and sea, of the owner of the domus”.

Here is “fascinating show” landscape, with a coastal town and a cliff, simulated in travertine, in front “A sea furrowed by three great ships, one with sails raised”the press release continues.

“We will work intensively to make this site, one of the most suggestive in ancient Rome, accessible to the public as quickly as possible”promised Alfonsina Russo, head of the Colosseum Archaeological Park.

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