Large Roman mosaic discovered in Poitiers: it may be one of the city's oldest remains

In the heart of Poitiers, a large mosaic presumably dating to the first century AD has been found. It may be one of the oldest remains.

In the very center of the city of Poitiers, specifically in the Jardin des Droits de l’Homme, a large mosaic presumably dating back to the first century AD has been found.

This extraordinary discovery was made by seven specialists from theInstitut national de recherche archéologiques préventives (Inrap) during excavations within this area: an area of 230 square meters that is very interesting from an archaeological point of view due to the amount of remains present.

According to specialists, this could be one of the oldest archaeological remains in the city, as stated by Benoît Billy, head of scientific intervention for the Inrap, who would date the mosaic to the first century, thus in Roman times.

The large rediscovered mosaic is in a good state of preservation: white in color, it is bordered by two black bands with small decorative motifs in the center. Composed of 500 thousand small tiles, due to the presence of the two bands delimiting a boundary “it could be part of a peristyle, but for the moment its exact function is unknown. It is not known whether it was a public or private building,” Billy added. What archaeologists have been able to notice is the state of wear and tear on some of the tiles, which testifies to the passage of people on the mosaic. “Overall, the state of preservation is relatively good considering its painful history,” Billy continued.

Another mosaic, which is smaller but equally has small decorative motifs, was found at the excavation site. The larger one measures 8 x 3 meters, while the second one, preserved in a worse state, covers an area of about 3 square meters.

As for the restoration and conservation, the president of Socra, a specialized company, specified that the visible surface will be glued with a special glue and film, a blade will be inserted under the mosaic to carve out several one-meter pieces. Each piece of mosaic will be studied at the Inrap archaeological center in Poitiers, and through the Carbon-14 method archaeologists will be able to pinpoint its precise dating.

“This discovery is in addition to the findings made in the city of Poitiers; we are about to rewrite a part of history thanks to a kind of investigation,” Inrap said.

The excavations that have been going on for five weeks will continue until July 26.

Ph.Credit Inrap

Large Roman mosaic discovered in Poitiers: it may be one of the city's oldest remains
Large Roman mosaic discovered in Poitiers: it may be one of the city's oldest remains

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