Picking up the pieces: Archaeologists unearth 2,000-year-old
mosaic depicting the Greek god Apollo surrounded by muses
by Daily Mail Reporter & AP
30th July 2011
A 2,000-year-old mosaic in Rome depicting the Greek god Apollo
has been unearthed by archaeologists near the Colosseum.
Excavations in the bowels of an ancient Roman hill have turned
up the well-preserved, late 1st century wall mosaic with a figure
of Apollo, nude except for a colourful mantle over a shoulder and
surrounded by muses.
The mosaic-covered wall is 16 meters (53 feet) wide and at least
2 meters (6.6 feet) high. Officials think the wall continues down
some 8 meters (26.5 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 apparently embellished a room where wealthy
Romans gathered to hear music and discuss art.
The parts of the mosaic uncovered so far are made with various
shades of bronze-coloured tesserae and were found shortly after
a number of unique frescoes were unearthed in the same cellar space.
Archaeologists are hoping there are more mosaics to be uncovered
and have said they need an extra 680,000 euros to finish the excavation.
Son of Zeus and Leto, Apollo was the god of light and the sun, truth
and prophecy, medicine, healing, plague, music, poetry, arts and
more. He was an illigitimate child - Zeus was married to Hera -
and his mother was banished to an island to give birth alone.
Apollo later fought in the Trojan war where he shot arrows infected
with the plague into the Greek encampment and was responsible for
the death of Achilles by firing an arrow into his heels.
He had both male and female lovers and was father to many children.