Archaeologists in Rome have discovered a banquet hall near the Roman Forum, and it shows that the ancients knew how to party. The part of the find that took everyone’s breath away, however, was a beautiful–and MASSIVE–mosaic nearly 2,300 years old.
— Voice of Europe 🌍 (@V_of_Europe) December 21, 2023
The Daily Caller writes:
After five years of working on the archaeological exploration of a large, aristocratic mansion near the Roman Forum, the team discovered a deluxe banquet room believed to be at least 2,300 years old, according to CNN. Within the room, the researchers found an enormous, fully intact wall mosaic made of brightly colored seashells and corals, images of which were shared by Voice of Europe on social media.
The mosaic is 16.4 feet long (5 meters) and features designs of tridents, trumpets, lotus leaves, mythological creatures and more, all made from mother of pearl, shells, corals, precious glass and marble, CNN reported. The actual wall is framed with ancient Egyptian blue tiles, travertine and crystals.
The discovery was described as “unmatched” by Colosseum Archaeological Park lead archaeologist Alfonsina Russo. It’s believed the scene depicted in the mosaic celebrates victories in naval and land battles, and was likely funded by one or more extremely wealthy Romans.
“This banquet hall, which measures 25 square meters (270 square feet), is just one space within a ‘domus’ (the Latin word for house) spread on several floors,” Russo told CNN. “In ancient times, when powerful noble families inhabited the Palatine Hill, it was customary to use rich decorative elements as a symbol to show-off opulence and high social rank.”
According to researchers, the find is extremely rare. “In ancient times, when powerful noble families inhabited the Palatine Hill, it was customary to use rich decorative elements as a symbol to show off opulence and high social rank,” Russo told one outlet.
The chamber, labeled a “jewel” by Russo, “earlier existed as an outdoor banquet hall overlooking a garden, which most probably was used for entertaining guests during summer.”