16 July 2024 The Future is the Product of the Past

Luxurious Ancient Roman Home With Magnificent Mosaic Wall uncovered between the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill

Archaeologists have uncovered a luxurious Roman home between Rome’s Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum, boasting an “unparalleled” mosaic featuring shells, marble, and precious glass.

The discovery was unveiled by the Italian Culture Ministry on Tuesday. Officials said that the ancient structure, which dates to the late Republican age, was built in at least three phases between the second half of the second century BC and the end of the first century BC.

The Domus is located in the area of the so-called Horrea Agrippiana warehouse complex along the Vicus Tuscus, a trading street that linked the Roman Forum to the river port on the Tiber.

Distributed around an atrium/garden, the domus features the specus aestivus as its main room, a banquet hall imitating a cave used during the summer season. Originally, it was adorned with spectacular water displays through lead pipes embedded in decorated walls.

What makes this discovery unique is the discovery of an extraordinary mosaic wall covering called “rustic” in this room, which is unparalleled due to the complexity of the depicted scenes and chronology.

The domus features an extraordinary mosaic. Photo Ministero della Cultura.
The domus features an extraordinary mosaic. Photo Ministero della Cultura.

The mosaic, crafted with sea-shells, Egyptian blue tesserae, precious glass, marble fragments, and colored stones, suggests the domus owner was a high-status nobleman or soldier, reports The Heritage Daily.

Three large ships ride waves in the mosaic towards a coastal city, its walls dotted with small towers and porticoes in a scene suggesting the owner of the more than 2,000-year-old home, or domus, had been victorious in battle.

The four niches, which are separated by pilaster strips and embellished with vases that sprout vines and lotus leaves, depict stacks of weapons with Celtic trumpet horns (carnyx), ship prows with tridents, and helmets with triremes, perhaps hint at the domus owner’s dual victory—both at sea and on land.

Alfonsina Russo, director of the Colosseum Archaeological Park, said the excavations will conclude early next year, adding: “We will work intensely to make this place, among the most evocative of ancient Rome, accessible to the public as soon as possible.”

Archaeologists also discovered “of the highest quality” white stucco carvings in an adjacent reception room, featuring detailed architectural renderings and vague “figures.”

The discoveries are the culmination of a lengthy excavation set to conclude in early 2024. Alfonsina Russo, head of the Colosseum Archaeological Park, the body that oversees many of ancient Rome’s key monuments, said that authorities would “work intensively to make this place, one of the most evocative in ancient Rome, accessible to the public as soon as possible.”

Reiterating Russo’s commitment, the ministry noted that the domus will join an expanding series of “new and diversified visitor routes opened in recent years that make up the varied cultural offerings of the Colosseum Archaeological Park.”

Cover Photo: Ministry of Culture handout

Italian Culture Ministry

Related Articles

Over 1,600-yr-old tomb of embracing lovers found in north China

16 August 2021

16 August 2021

Archaeologists recently published a study of the tomb of cuddling lovers, dating to the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534), more than...

Washi papers discovered inside a 675-year-old Buddhist statue in Japan

3 February 2024

3 February 2024

The carved head of an ancient Buddhist statue hidden in the Myooin temple in Fukuyama, Hiroshima, Japan, has revealed pages...

A farmer picking up ‘trash’ in field in Norway discovered a rare Viking Sword

1 June 2024

1 June 2024

A farmer and his son found a rare Viking sword on his family farm in Suldal, Norway. Archaeologists say this...

1000-year-old Cats and Babies mummies of Turkey’s

30 March 2022

30 March 2022

Cat, baby, and adult mummies in Aksaray, which took its place in history as Cappadocia’s gateway to the west on...

Archaeologists uncovered a 3,500-year-old Egyptian Royal Retreat in the Sinai Desert

5 May 2024

5 May 2024

An Egyptian mission uncovered the ruins of a 3,500-year-old “royal fortified rest area” at the Tel Habwa archaeological site in...

Royal-Memorial Inscription Attributed to King Sargon II Discovered in Western Iran

25 April 2021

25 April 2021

In western Iran, Iranian archaeologists discovered a part of a royal memorial inscription attributed to the Neo-Assyrian king Sargon II....

Thousands of ignored ‘Nummi Minimi’ Coins Found in the Ancient City of Marea in Egypt

11 December 2023

11 December 2023

Numismatists from the Faculty of Archaeology at the University of Warsaw have examined thousands of previously ignored small coins (Nummi...

A Polish diplomat in Turkey has unravels the enigma of a long-lost ancient city

31 January 2022

31 January 2022

Robert D. Rokicki, a diplomat in the Polish embassy in Ankara used a unique method of “histracking” to find the...

Largest Anglo-Saxon cemetery discovered in Britain illuminates ‘Dark Ages’

16 June 2022

16 June 2022

Archaeologists working on HS2 (the purpose-built high-speed railway line) have discovered a rich Anglo-Saxon cemetery in Wendover, Buckinghamshire, where almost...

The 1,000-year-old surgical kit found in Sican tomb, Peru

28 March 2022

28 March 2022

A set of surgical tools indicating that the deceased was a surgeon was found in a funerary bundle found in...

The oldest evidence of human cannibalism as a funerary practice in Europe

7 October 2023

7 October 2023

According to a new study, cannibalism was a common funerary practice in northern Europe around 15,000 years ago, with people...

Japan-Persia Ancient Ties

20 June 2021

20 June 2021

Japanese and Persian ancient ties go back to the 7th century. Silk Road connected Japan with countries and regions far...

Archaeologists discovered a dragon made of mussel shells in in Inner Mongolia

26 August 2023

26 August 2023

Archaeologists discovered a dragon made of mussel shells earlier this week in Chifeng, North China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, which...

Iron Age stone altar and gold-plated ceremonial sword discovered in Kazakhstan

14 August 2021

14 August 2021

A stone altar and a gold-plated ceremonial sword used in the early Iron Age were discovered during excavations along the...

First direct evidence of drug use as part of Bronze Age ritual ceremonies in Europe

6 April 2023

6 April 2023

An analysis of human hair strands recovered from a burial site in Menorca, Spain, reveals that ancient human civilizations used...