Tesserae and Rabbits find lost Roman Villas

africanFebruary 28, 2009

I recently visited the restored Roman Villa at Chedsworth, England in the Cotswold hills. They had some very beautiful mosaics in the restored bath houses and dining rooms, dating back from between the 2nd and 4th centuries AD.

I was told that burrowing rabbits and other animals are often responsible, for bringing loose tesserae blocks to the surface, which result in long burried villas and other buildings being discovered. Chedworth villa, itself, was discovered by two men who were trying to retrieve a ferret, while rabbit hunting.

Here is a link that might be useful: Roman Mosaics

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Calamity_J

Isn't it amazing that something made so long ago has lasted this long...I think we should research and find their mortar recipe!!!lol! seriously tho....

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 2:21PM
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daisyme

What an interesting bit of information. Thanks for sharing both what you learned and this great site to explore!

Daisy

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 6:27PM
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cindiloo

Ditto!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 1:06PM
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african

Thanks for the kind words - what amazed me about the brilliant mosaics at Chedworth Villa, was how professionally they had been done. After all, Britain was a very remote and fairly poor part of the empire in this period and Chedworth itself was not near any big city or town.

The owners of the estate must have been wealthy as they had not one but two good sized bath suites with steam rooms, saunas and hot and cold pools and they also had underfloor heating throughout the dining and living rooms. I'm sure that the mosaic artists must have been imported from overseas - the work was just too professional for a frontier province .

Here is a link that might be useful: Roman Mosaics

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 6:07PM
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foxrosefl

Thank you for sharing your experience and the site, very informative. We will be going to Germany early fall, and just decided to take a side trip to Italy, so this info is very timely. We will be in the Emilia-Romagna (Parma, Bologna) region, which also has many mosaic treasures. I am planning on a day in Ravenna. -- After reading your link I'm even more excited. Your trip to Britain must have been very enjoyable!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 12:02PM
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african

Hi foxrosefl

I envy you your trip to Italy. I spent some time in Rome last summer - What an experience!

I regret that I've never been to Ravenna, which was the last hide away of Romulus Augustus, the final Emperor of the Western Empire, and was the Western capital after the fall of Rome, until it finally fell to the Goths under Oadacer, in the 5th cenury AD.

I believe the mosaics there are amongst the most magnificent of the ancient world, especially the 6th century Byzantine works, made after Italy was reconquered by the heroic Count Belisarius for the Eastern emperor Justinian and his intriguing wife, the ex prostitute, Theodora. They both feature in some of the mosaics. She was a nasty piece of work, by all accounts - murderous and treacherous, but beautiful, feisty and incredibly brave. You should read her story.

Cape Town

Here is a link that might be useful: Ravenna Mosaics

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 8:20PM
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daisyme

Thank you for giving us the link to those incredible ancient mosaics and also for the great history lesson. You sound like an historian...maybe a teacher...in any case very well read, and it's so nice to sit here and learn the things you've shared. Thank you!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 8:59PM
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african

No, I'm not a teacher, but have always been fascinated by the legacy that Rome left us. I have to confess that my main interest in mosaics, has been through the extraordinary Roman art that this medium has preserved so well. I've seen magnificent 2000 year old mosaics in the British Museum and around Rome, at places such as Ostia, Caracalla's baths, and in the Vatican that look as though they were laid out yesterday! So all you good people had better be sure that your work is up to scratch, and of the highest standard, because your most severe critic might only be born around the year 4009.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 10:23AM
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tobytub

Has anyone seen mosaic art at Topkapi palace, Istambul?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 5:28PM
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kraftkrazy

for those that might be traveling to italy. i saw a show on this place last year, its called the temple of humankind or damanhur, was a secret city until recently, built underground. i think its in northern italy. it is really fascinating with the mosaics, stained glass and paintings, really amazing how it was built in secret. i can not fathom how a place of this magnitude could be done in secret. i would love to visit here one day. here is a link

http://www.thetemples.org/

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 10:11PM
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tobytub

The Topkapi palace was the home of the Ottoman Sultans and it contains some wonderful Eastern Mosaic art and should not be missed if ever planning on visiting Turkey. Great inspiration for anyone wanting to make a panel that is a little more exotic than usual - shades of the harem in brilliant colours.

Here is a link that might be useful: Topkapi Pictures

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 10:49AM
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tobytub

The Topkapi palace was the home of the Ottoman Sultans and it contains some wonderful Eastern Mosaic art and should not be missed if ever planning on visiting Turkey. Great inspiration for anyone wanting to make a panel that is a little more exotic than usual - shades of the harem in brilliant colours.

Here is a link that might be useful: Topkapi Pictures

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 11:07AM
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