Medieval mosaic found in UK likely to return to original condition

Written by CNN Staff Paris, France

A mosaic of three birds set on the ground is the work of hand and will return to its original surroundings as part of the £2 million ($2.59 million) restoration project.

The find was made as part of a road excavation a decade ago that discovered one of the world’s most extensive excavations of Roman oratoriums in the UK.

The miniature mosaic was uncovered by members of the archaeological team as they worked to uncover the remains of a Roman homestead in the northern Wiltshire countryside, according to a museum statement

The four-foot-tall mosaic, made of mosaic bricks, was decorated with three white birds on a blue background and will be restored to its original status.

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All 10 to 12 mosaic bricks will be returned to their owner for safe keeping while the replica, made from white-glazed tiles, is put on public display in the museum.

The mosaics, which date from the first or second century, will go on display in the British Museum in 2020.

On April 17, the archaeologists found an intact mosaic chamber which was dated to the second century or the early years of the third century BC — dubbed the “most exciting mosaic discovery in the last century” by deputy museum director Lindsay Herbert.

Andrew Smith, professor of Roman Studies at the University of London and senior lecturer at the department of Roman and Early History at Cambridge University said the discovery of the restored mosaic was “exciting.”

The London-based team will also be restoring two smaller mosaics, the opening and closing of the life-sized ficus tree, which were discovered underneath the road in 2009.

The team said that although the works will start in 2019, they will be completed at the end of 2020.

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