During archaeological excavations all sorts of bits and pieces are
found in the soil, fragments of pottery, coins and bits of stone.
It is possible to say what these pieces might be and the period
they were made but not necessarily why they were there. Pots get
broken, and brooches lost, but all the bits of stone....
Jumble of tesserae
From Lopen there were about 20 bags of stones (possible 6-7000 bits)
that were roughly cut into cubes, from tiny fingernail sized to
6cm blocks. These were all thought to have become dislodged by tree
roots and the digging of a well during the 1600 years below the
surface from the mosaic floors of the villa.
The mosaic had to be recovered by soil again for its own protection
from weathering, frost and other damage and we had nothing tangable
left to remind us of its beauty.
What could we do?
Could we try to reconstruct a part of it, working in the way of
the Roman craftsmen, using the same materials? We would need funds
so we could get the skilled people to work on the project which
included producing a film and developing a web site. Lopen is a
small village so The Lopen History Group supported an application
for money from The Local Heritage Initiative ( 1 )
who awarded the substantial grant.