Roman mosaic and villa complex found in Rutland farmer's field

The image is from Historic England.

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The villa is thought to have been occupied by a wealthy individual.

A mosaic depicting scenes from Homer's Iliad has been found beneath a Roman villa.

The first example of its kind in the UK has been described as the mosaic found in Rutland.

It was discovered by the son of the landowner.

The mosaic was described as one of the most remarkable and significant in Britain.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has protected the mosaic and surrounding villa complex as a Scheduled Monument.

The complex is thought to have been occupied by a wealthy individual.

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Unusual pottery was discovered nearby and urgent excavation work was carried out.

Jim Irvine, son of Brian Naylor, made the initial discovery after spotting "unusual pottery" on a walk during the 2020 lockdown.

He said that his family has been farming the land for at least 50 or 60 years.

I noticed some pottery on the ground that didn't look like anything I'd seen before.

I was in the right place after I dug a shallow trench with a spade.

The University of Leicester was funded by Historic England to dig at the site.

The image is from Historic England.

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Jim Irvine and his father spotted pottery on the site.

The floor of what was thought to be a dining or entertaining area of the villa is 11m x 7m and 36ft x 23ft.

Mosaics were used in public and private buildings across the Roman Empire, and often featured famous figures from mythology.

The mosaic in the UK is thought to be unique as it features the battle of the two heroes in the end of the Trojan War.

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The scenes depicted in the mosaic are considered unique.

The large villa is surrounded by a number of structures.

Between the 3rd and 4th Century AD, the complex was occupied by someone with a knowledge of classical literature.

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The floor of a dining area was formed by the mosaic.

The Roman mosaic discovery in the UK is the most exciting in the last century, according to John Thomas, deputy director of the University ofLeicester Archaeological Services.

It gives us fresh perspectives on the attitudes of people at the time, their links to classical literature, and it also tells us an enormous amount about the individual who commissioned this piece.

The first depiction of these stories that we've ever found in Britain was created by someone with a knowledge of the classics.

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An off-site display is being discussed.

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said: "To have uncovered such a rare mosaic of this size, as well as a surrounding villa, is remarkable."

"Discoveries like this help us piece together our shared history." We can continue learning from this site and look forward to what future excavations may teach us about the people who lived there over 1,500 years ago.

The site is private and not accessible to the public, but discussions are ongoing with the county council to set up an off-site display of the villa complex and its finds.

The site will be excavated in 2022.

Digging for Britain will feature the discovery of the Rutland villa in early 2022.

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Archaeology.
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