Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Thursday, 25 November 2021

A Roman villa in Rutland

The BBC News website has a report today which alerted me to the discovery of the site of what was clearly a substantial and cultured Roman villa in Rutland. It is thought to date from the third or fourth century.

What especially marks it out is that one room has a floor mosaic design indicating the literary tastes of the owners. The sizeable floor depicts the battle between Achilles and Hector from Homer’s Iliad. As a subject it is a unique discovery in this country and the mosaic is being hailed as the most important to be uncovered in a century.

The remains were initially discovered after distinctive pottery showed up in a field and initial excavation led to the villa site. Further examination of the clearly extensive site will continue next year and plans are being worked upon to present the site, which has now been scheduled, to the public.

Once again this is a case of a significant and spectacular archaeological site being found with, apparently, no previous indication of its existence.

In addition I found that The Art Newspaper has a somewhat more detailed account of the site, including the evidence for the abandonment of the villa, and that can be read at Magnificent Roman mosaic discovered in a farmer's field is 'UK's most exciting find of its kind in a century'

No comments: