tf: mosaic

Pompeiian mosaic

This mosaic represents death as the ultimate equalizer, to remind people of the fleeting nature of earthly fortunes

The skull symbolizes death, the butterfly signifies the soul and the wheel represents fortune. Also featured in this mosaic is a libella - a levelling instrument, with a plumb line

On each side of the libella are symbols of poverty and wealth/power, kept in perfect balance. On the right poverty and on the left wealth and power

Photo: S. Sosnovskiy, housed in the Naples National Archaeological Museum

Amateur archaeologists unearth rare Roman mosaic hailed as 'best seen in decades'

A well-preserved Roman mosaic, described as the “most exciting” discovery in decades, has been uncovered in Berkshire by a local community archaeology dig.

The mosaic, dated from around 4th century AD, features Bellerophon, a Greek hero, riding the winged horse Pegasus. The panel shows a scene where they attack the fire-breathing monster Chimera. As a reward for killing the beast which had a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail, Pegasus was offered the King Iobates’ daughter, Philonoe.

Joy Appleton from the Boxford History Project told The Independent: “I was stunned. It’s an amazing mosaic with so many figures. There is every Greek mythical figure found on a British site. The owner of the Roman villa in which the mosaic was found, [clearly] wanted to display his knowledge as there are so many characters and beasts from Greek mythology.” Read more.