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Roman mosaic unearthed under Italian vineyard

The well-preserved remains of a Roman mosaic has been discovered under a vineyard in the Valpolicella Classico wine-producing region.

Image: Comune di Negrar di Valpolicella

There are not many vineyards in the world that can add Roman mosaic tiles to their soil composition list.

However, as reported by L’Arena, a team from the Superintendent of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of Verona unearthed the remains of the mosaic beneath vines in the town of Negrar di Valpolicella.

The find was made almost a century after the remains of a Roman villa, believed to date to the 3rd century AD, was uncovered by archaeologists in the area.

More recently, archaeologists had begun exploring the site in October 2019, however were forced to suspend their dig as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Resuming once more this month, in just a week the team came upon the mosaic.

A Facebook post on the town’s page said the find was made after “countless decades of failed attempts”. It noted that the mosaic was located “a few metres beneath the ground”.

The site surveyors will work with the relevant town authorities and owner of the vineyard to “identify the most suitable way to make this archaeological treasure under our feet available and open to visit”.

Image: Comune di Negrar di Valpolicella

Roberto Grison, the mayor of Negrar di Valpolicella, told L’Arena: “We believe a cultural site of this value deserves attention and should be enhanced. For this reason, together with the superintendent and those in charge of agricultural funds, we will find a way to make this treasure enjoyable.”

Many unusual items have been unearthed in vineyards over the years. In 2017, Denbies Wine Estate in Surrey uncovered World War Two tank lying beneath its vines, while Argentine producer Familia Schroeder’s vines are planted over land where dinosaur bones were found. The bones are now on display in the winery and the find inspired the name of the producer’s Saurus wines.

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