Saturday, July 30, 2011
Excavations in the bowels of an ancient Roman hill have turned up a well-preserved, late 1st century wall mosaic with a figure of Apollo, nude except for a colorful mantle over a shoulder.
Archaeologists and city officials unveiled the recent find to reporters Friday on the Oppian Hill. The mosaic-covered wall is 53 feet wide and at least 6 1/2 feet high. Officials think the wall continues down about 261/2 feet more.
Archaeologists say the wall appears to be in a tunnel built to help support Trajan's Baths, named for the emperor who ruled from 98 till 117. The mosaic, which also depicts a Muse, apparently embellished a room where wealthy Romans gathered to hear music and discuss art.