August 1, 2011

Archaeologists Unearth 2,000-Year-Old Mosaic In Rome

Officials said on Friday that archaeologists have unearthed a 2,000-year-old mosaic in Rome that depicts the Greek god Apollo surrounded by his muses in a cellar once used as a park tool shed near the Colosseum.

"This is a very important discovery. The mosaic is in perfect condition and it can be dated exactly to between 64 and 109 AD," Umberto Broccoli, head of the culture department of the Rome city council, told reporters during a visit.

Excavations are being done in an underground gallery of the ancient Trajan Baths.

The baths are a structure near the ruins of Nero's palace in the Domus Aurea.

The parts of the mosaic that have been uncovered are made with shapes of bronze-colored tesserae.

Unique frescoes have been found in the cellar space, including a cityscape and a group of men pressing grapes to make wine.

"This finding," Roman Mayor Gianni Alemanno said, "must make us reflect on the immense wealth of history and art that we must not only defend, but to make it more accessible to the general public."

Alemanno said, "an archaeological discovery is of extraordinary value to the city of Rome."

Archaeologists believe there are more mosaics to be uncovered and said they need an extra $978,000 to finish the excavation.