Richard III archaeologists strike again with Roman mosaic

LONDON (AP) - A team of archaeologists from the University of Leicester in Central England certainly seems to have the golden touch.
Almost a decade after the remains of King Richard III were discovered. Under a parking lot near Leicester Cathedral, the university's archaeological team has unearthed a Roman mosaic depicting the great Greek hero Achilles fighting the brave Hector during the Trojan War - this time in a Farmer's Field about 160 kilometers (100 miles) Miles) north of London.
The mosaic is the first representation of events from Homer's classic 'The Iliad' ever found in Great Britain. "
John Thomas, assistant director of the University of Leicester Archaeological Service and project manager for the excavations, said the mosaic says a lot about the person who commissioned it in the late Roman period between the 3rd and 4th centuries.
"This is someone who knows the classics and had the money to commission such a detail and it is the very first representation of these stories that we have ever found in the UK," he said. "This is certainly the most exciting Roman mosaic discovery in Britain in the last century."
Given its rarity and importance, the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sports awarded the mosaic the oldest form of monument protection in the country on Thursday. It is now a planned memorial, making it a criminal offense for anyone to dig or even discover metal on the site.
"By protecting this site, we can continue to learn from it and be excited about what future excavations can teach us about the people who lived there over 1,500 years ago," said Duncan Wilson, managing director of Historic England.
The mosaic in County Rutland was found by Jim Irvine, whose father Brian Naylor owns the land, in the middle of last year's lockdown during excavations of an elaborate villa complex, which consists of a large number of structures and other buildings. Irvine then notified authorities, which led to an excavation by the university's archaeological team.
He described how what began as "a foray in the fields with the family" led to the "incredible discovery".
"The last year has been a total thrill being involved," he said.
Archaeologists discovered remains of the mosaic measuring 11 meters (36 feet) by nearly 7 meters (22.9 feet). Human remains, believed to have been buried after the building was not used, were also found in the rubble covering the mosaic.
The excavations, which remain on private land, have now been backfilled to protect the site and the work may continue to convert the field into grassland to reduce the risk of future damage from plowing.
After the latest excavation success, the university team has little time to rest. In January they are due to start digging near Leicester Cathedral, what is believed to be the deepest excavation in the city of all time, in the hope of finding long-lost treasures from the Middle Ages and antiquity.
The team is especially fond of his search for the lost grave of Richard III. which began in August 2012. In February of the following year, the university announced that it had found the remains of England's last King of the Plantagenet and the last of England's monarchs died on the battlefield. He died in 1485.
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Richard III from England
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