Ancient Roman Floor Uncovered in Italy

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. unearth / ʌnˈɜrθ / (v) – to find something buried in the ground through digging

    Scientists unearthed several dinosaur bones at the beach.

  2. outskirts / ˈaʊtˌskɜrts / (n) – the outer parts of a city or town

    The subway eases the daily commute from the city’s outskirts to the central business district.

  3. apparent / əˈpær ənt / (adj) – obvious or clearly recognizable

    The patient’s improved health is apparent from his lively behavior and appearance.

  4. excavation / ˌɛks kəˈveɪ ʃən / (n) – the act of finding buried objects in the ground by removing earth carefully

    Archaeological excavations should be done carefully to prevent damaging artifacts that are possibly buried in the ground.

  5. liaise / liˈeɪz / (v) – to form a working relationship with a person or group to achieve a common goal

    The local hospital will liaise with social workers to effectively carry out community health projects.


Read the text below.

Archaeologists unearthed a perfectly preserved Roman mosaic floor in Italy.

The mosaic floor was found a few meters underneath a vineyard in the hilly outskirts of Negrar di Valpolicella [vahl-paw-lee-CHEL-lah]. Archaeologists speculate that the floor was part of an ancient Roman villa dating back to the third century.

Images of the discovery were posted on the town’s Facebook page. Though the photos show only some parts of the ancient villa, repeating geometric shape patterns in burnt red, green, and black are apparent in the mosaic floor.

The villa’s remains were first discovered on the site back in 1922, but the progress of excavation had been minimal. According to officials, there were numerous failed attempts to find more parts of the villa for many decades after it was first found.

Last summer, a team of archaeologists from the Superintendent of Archaeology, Fine Arts, and Landscape of Verona resumed the excavation. After briefly halting the search because of Italy’s pandemic lockdown, the team resumed working once the restrictions were lifted and made the discovery in May.

Currently, archaeologists are working to determine the exact size and location of the Roman villa.

Authorities said that they will liaise with the municipality and the vineyard’s owner to help make the ancient discovery accessible and available to the public.

According to the mayor of Negrar di Valpolicella, valuable cultural sites like the one discovered in the town deserve recognition and improvement. He promised to work with the people involved in the restoration of the villa to make the ancient treasure an enjoyable attraction.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Once the ancient villa becomes accessible to the public, would you be interested in visiting it? Why or why not?
• Do you think discoveries like the ancient Roman villa should always be made accessible to the public? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• In your opinion, what is the best way to ensure cultural sites are preserved (e.g. leave them untouched, do renovations)? Explain.
• In your country, which cultural sites could benefit from renovation or enhancement? Discuss.