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Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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First-Century Roman Wall Painting Unearthed in London

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

London Roman fresco LONDON, ENGLAND—A complete collapsed wall painting dating to the first century A.D. was discovered face-down during an excavation at 21 Lime Street, London, by a team from the Museum of London Archaeology. The image is likely to have adorned a reception room in the home of a wealthy citizen. It depicts deer nibbling trees, birds, fruit, and a vine woven around a candelabrum. One area of the painting’s red panels had been painted with cinnabar thought to have been imported from Spain. The design has not been seen before in Roman Britain, but resembles a painting in a Roman villa in Cologne, Germany. The home in which it had been painted was probably demolished ahead of the construction of the second Forum Basilica. To read more about Roman frescos, go to "Saving the Villa of the Mysteries."

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