An amazing mosaic depicting scenes from Homer’s Iliad was discovered by archaeologists excavating an elaborate Roman villa complex in the United Kingdom.
According to Newcarsz, excavations were conducted by the University of Leicester in partnership with Historic England after the site was discovered by the landowner’s son, who identified archaeological remains disturbed by plowing and farming activities business during its closure in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The farmer has been in contact with heritage advisors for Leicestershire County Council, where funding has been secured for the site investigation by Leicester University of Archaeological Services (ULAS).
The University of Leicester’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History examined the site in September 2021, revealing the remains of a mosaic that measures 11m by almost 7m and depicts the story of the legendary hero Achilles from the Iliad and his battle with the Trojan Prince Hector.
The Iliad, also referred to as the Song of Ilion, is an ancient Greek poem in dactylic hexameter, traditionally attributed to the author and poet Homer.
The famous poem is set during the Trojan War, where a coalition of Mycenaean Greek kingdoms led by King Agamemnon lays siege to the city of Troy.
The Iliad is among the oldest extant works of Western literature, and tells of the quarrels between Agamemnon and Achilles.
The artwork forms the floor of what is thought to be a dining area in a large villa building, occupied during the 3rd and 4th century AD in the late Roman period.
A geophysical study and further archaeological evaluations have identified several supporting buildings, including what appears to be aisled barns, a possible bath house, circular structures and a series of boundary ditches.
Fire damage and breaks in the mosaic suggests that the site was later re-purposed during the very late Roman or Early Medieval period, with the discovery of human remains in the rubble covering the mosaic after the building was no longer occupied.