ARCHAEOLOGISTS have discovered a Roman mosaic in Extremadura depicting Medusa with tiny wings and locks of hair which is believed to have been used as a protective symbol.

The mosaic was found at Merida’s Huerta de Otero archaeological site which saw the first excavations take place in 1976.

Ancient Romans established a colony there in 25 BC called Augusta Emerita and examples of their stay including an amphitheatre and a bridge can be found across Merida.

Archaeologist Felix Palma said: “The site is of an exceptional nature due to the level of conservation of the ruins and, above all, the ornamental elements that decorate the well-preserved house: not only the mosaic of the Medusa but also paintings and sculptural motifs.”

Work on the site gathered pace in 2019 when Merida council employed professional archaeologists and students from its Barraeca II Professional School to explore the ruins.

EXCAVATION WORK(Ayuntamiento de Merida image)

Since then, the team has uncovered a Roman defensive wall, a road, and the home of a wealthy family.

The Medusa mosaic adorned the floor of this home with depictions of fish, peacocks, and carefully tessellated patterns surrounding the artwork’s central figure: a human-like Medusa, with her gaze turned to one side.


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