Could you be standing or sitting over an ancient artifact right now? Founded in 43 C.E., London has a long and storied Roman history. Just a few days ago, a rare fresco was discovered — under 21 Lime Street, in the heart of London’s insurance district.
For over 1,000 years, Londoners have been walking — and recently, driving — over a Roman fresco that was discovered last week under 21 Lime Street. Erin Blakemore of the Smithsonian reports, “Thousands of years ago, the site was home to a different building, London’s Roman Basilica and Forum, a towering structure larger than St. Paul’s Cathedral, which served as a kind of city center and shopping mall for Londoners.
A conservator works on a section of the fresco (c) Museum of London Archaeology 2016
“The discovery of the face-down fresco hints at the way the forum and adjacent buildings were torn down. Apparently, this building was simply toppled to the ground, instead of being demolished in a more thorough manner, meaning that after the wall fell to the ground, it was simply built over. All the better for archaeologists: When they uncovered the eight-foot long and nearly five-foot high wall section, they were able to flip it over to see the ornate decoration they believe used to stand in a rich family’s reception room.”
No doubt the discovery highlights once more that so much of our ancient past remains to be discovered.
To learn more, visit the Smithsonian.
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