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Roman mosaic being installed at Salisbury Museum

Posted on 13th April 2014

An age-old mosaic is being painstakingly installed at Salisbury Museum, a piece which is sure to become a defining feature at the new Wessex Gallery of Archaeology.

It is one of more than 2,000 items that will feature in the new Wessex Gallery. Set to open later this year at a cost of £2.4 million, it is likely to be an incredibly popular attraction for those staying in any of the Wiltshire countryside cottages.

First uncovered in the 1950s in Downton during work on a new housing project, the mosaic is incredibly well-preserved and is believed to be part of a floor from a Roman villa – with experts dating it from 300 to 400AD. The stunning Downton mosaic is made from tesserae – a technique using small cubes of stone and pottery laid together to form a pattern. The central design features a drinking cup that has handles shaped like dolphins, which could relate to the belief that the mosaic was found in the dining room. With no other mosaics of this quality found in the area, its incredible condition means that great care is being taken to prevent damage during the installation.

Image Credit: Javi Vte Rejas (Flickr.com)