Day 5 Joining the Islands. A Grand Reception

We had a lot of help today and so were able to make good progress and work together on the careful uncovering of the mosaics.

Looking  south-west from c towards d on the right and a on the left. All the islands of mosaics have gaps but what remains all link together into one 18m long and 6.75m wide mosaic.

Looking south-west from c towards d on the right and a on the left. All the islands of mosaics have gaps but what remains all link together into one 18m long and 6.75m wide mosaic.

We discovered today that the concrete walls we had removed had not defined four rooms each with different mosaics but had divided and cut through one large late Roman mosaic. A strange and destructive 1963 decision.

Looking north from d-c. The north-west corner of the reception room where there is a blocked door.

Looking north from d-c. The north-west corner of the reception room where there is a blocked door.

Professors Peter and Simon, Chedworth’s specialist advisers on Roman Britain, visited today and saw that our discovery had confirmed their hypothesis that this 18m long and 6.75m area was one large, grand reception room. Guests of the villa owner would have been brought first into this room and were wowed by the scale and opulence of the place. The owner was showing off his wealth and power. The intricate designs of he floor would have been matched by decorated plaster walls but only fragments of this design survive where bits of plaster fell to the floor. Most was taken away in 1864 by the Victorian excavators. We uncovered the north-east corner of the reception room mosaic last year and now we are looking at the opposite end of the room.

The views south from c -d towards the backfilled water feature e.

The views south from c -d towards the backfilled water feature e.

It has the same broad white band at the edge surrounding red and white stripes that in turn enclose a variety of geometric designs.

Last day for a few of us today. Many thanks particularly to Luke and Tom. The early days shifting concrete enabled the gentler pursuit of mosaic cleaning.

Last day for a few of us today. Many thanks particularly to Luke and Tom. The early days shifting concrete enabled the gentler pursuit of mosaic cleaning.

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