MOLA archaeological conservator, Luisa Duarte, with one of sixteen sections of a beautifully decorated collapsed Roman wall © MOLA
An ornate fresco that once adorned the residence of a wealthy Roman citizen has been discovered by archaeologists at 21 Lime Street, in London. Archaeologists from MOLA uncovered the fresco six metres below street level, whilst undertaking fieldwork for a new office development. Dating to the late 1st century AD, and the first decades of London, it is one of the earliest surviving frescos from Roman Britain.
Thanks to a huge Roman construction project, the fate of this rare wall painting was literally sealed in the ground. In AD 100, construction of the 2nd Forum Basilica, the main civic centre for the city and the largest Roman building ever built north of the Alps, began. In advance of construction of the Forum the area was flattened. The painted wall was deliberately toppled and the Forum immediately built over it, incredibly preserving the fresco for nearly 2000 years.
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