Ancient mosaics revealed in Roman-age town

Archaeologists revealed elaborate mosaics in an unearthed part of a Roman town called Ucetia near Uzes in southern France.

Mosaic found at the site (by Denis Gliksman)

Archaeologists have excavated over 4000 square metres of the site unearthing remains of buildings of the former Roman city. Prior to excavations it was only known that there had been a Roman city called Ucetia in the area, mentioned along 11 others on a Roman stela in Nimes. Moreover, no artefacts connected with this secondary town had been unearthed, except for a few isolated fragments of mosaic. Now, the most stunning find from the site is that of a complex mosaic pavement, on the floor of a room, inside a large building, covering 250 square metres, with a colonnade.

Revealing the mosaic (by Denis Gliksman)

The team of archaeologists discovered a large wall and many structures dating to just before the Roman conquest, including a room where a bread oven was set up, and later replaced with a dolium – an enormous ceramic container. The site has been occupied from the 1st century BC to the late Antiquity (7th cent. AD), with an interruption in the 3rd and 4th century. Archaeologists also identified building remains from the Middle Ages.

Details of the mosaic (by Denis Gliksman)

The structures uncovered by the researchers are believed to have stood inside the walls the ancient city of Utecia. The complex network of communication routes and the organisation of the buildings suggest this was the centre of the Roman town and not another, separate site. Researchers have identified two large mosaics decorated with traditional geometric motifs framing two central medallions composed of crowns, rays and chevrons. One of the medallions is surrounded by polychrome animals – an owl, a duck, an eagle and a fawn.

Mosaic details (by Denis Gliksman)

(after International Business Times & Denis Gliksman)

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