Two years ago, a remarkable discovery unfolded as archaeologists conducted excavations at a vineyard in northern Italy.
During the dig, the team unearthed an astonishing find—an incredibly well-preserved mosaic floor believed to date back to the 3rd century BC. This intricate mosaic, which was uncovered at the site, is likely the foundation of an Ancient Roman villa. Interestingly, traces of this ancient estate were first discovered in Negrar di Valpolicella, near Verona, as early as 1922. However, nearly a century passed before scientists returned to the area.
Alberto Manicardi, the head of operations for the excavation near the town of Negrar, remarked, “Archaeologists have been searching for this mosaic since at least 1922. We knew it existed but were unable to precisely locate it.”
According to Camilla Madinelli of the local newspaper L’Arena, a team from the Superintendent of Archaeology, Fine Arts, and Landscape of Verona had commenced the excavation work in the area before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Guardian reports that the team made their most significant discovery to date just a week after returning to the site.
In a public statement, local authorities expressed their excitement, stating, “After decades of unsuccessful attempts, a portion of the floor and foundations of the Roman villa, located north of Verona and discovered by scholars a century ago, has finally been revealed.” They further explained that the tiles were found a few meters below the vineyard’s surface. Such mosaics were commonly employed for decorative purposes on both floors and walls in the Ancient Roman world.
“We believe that a cultural site of this magnitude deserves recognition and should be showcased,” expressed Negrar di Valpolicella Mayor Roberto Grison, as translated by The Guardian. “For this reason, in collaboration with the superintendent and those responsible for agricultural funding, we will find a way to make this treasure accessible and enjoyable.”
The mosaic features a series of intricate patterns known as “Solomon’s knots,” as detailed by Atlas Obscura. It is hoped that the inscribed octagons and rhomboids within the mosaic can provide valuable insights to experts investigating the villa’s identity. This cultural discovery carries particular significance, considering the challenges Italy faced during the waves of the pandemic.
Overall, it serves as a beautiful reminder of Italy’s rich history and artistic heritage, making the meticulous and cautious excavation efforts unquestionably worthwhile.