Roman mosaic floor discovered under vineyard in Italy

A perfectly preserved “archeological treasure” has been unearthed beneath vines near the city of Verona in Northern Italy.

The ancient Roman mosaic was discovered by archeologists in the hills above Negrar di Valpolicella after “countless decades of failed attempts,” town authorities wrote on their Facebook page.

Almost a century previously, the remains of a Roman villa had been found in the area, but in 1922 the dig was abandoned.

Last summer, a team from the Superintendent of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of Verona resumed the excavations. After halting during the coronavirus pandemic, the digging began again last week and the startling discovery was made.

“Part of the floor and foundations of the Roman villa located north of Verona, discovered by scholars a century ago, has finally been brought to light,” the authorities of Negrar di Valpolicella continue in their Facebook post, sharing photos of the stunning mosaic decoration and the remains of the villa.

Experts say the pristine mosaic floor could date to 3rd century AD, believed to be the date of the remains of the villa on the site. The area is still being excavated to see the full extent of the find.

“The superintendent will now liaise with the owners of the area and municipality to identify the most appropriate ways of making this archaeological treasure, hidden beneath our feet, available and accessible,” the Facebook announcement continues.

Italy’s cultural attractions are gradually reopening, including the archeological site of Pompeii near Naples which opened its doors to the public on Tuesday.

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Rebecca Ann Hughes

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