Archaeologists find Roman mosaic depicting Apollo

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Excavations in the bowels of an ancient Roman hill have turned up a well-preserved, late 1st century wall mosaic with a figure of Apollo, nude except for a colorful mantle over a shoulder. 

A worker cleans a mosaic mural depicting Apollo and the Muses found in an archaeological site under the “Terme di Traiano” in downtown Rome July 29, 2011. The mosaic was unveiled by the Department of Cultural Affairs on Friday after it was discovered as restoration works are undertaken at Domus Aurea, a large landscaped villa built in ancient Rome [Credit: Reuters/Tony Gentile]

Archaeologists and city officials unveiled the recent find to reporters Friday on the Oppian Hill. The mosaic-covered wall is 16 meters (53 feet) wide and at least 2 meters (6.6 feet) high. Officials think the wall continues down some 8 meters (26.5 feet) more. 

Archaeologists say the wall appears to be in a tunnel built to help support Trajan’s Baths, named for the emperor who ruled from 98 till 117. The mosaic, which also depicts a Muse, apparently embellished a room where wealthy Romans gathered to hear music and discuss art. 

Source: Associated Press [July 29, 2011]

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