Archaeologists at the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) have made a surprising find near London Bridge Station. They excavated a Roman mausoleum, which struck scientists not only with its degree of preservation, but also with its architecture.
Excavations were conducted last year, when mosaics of the Roman period were discovered in the area. The discovery was considered unique even then, and archaeologists decided to expand the search area. As a result, they excavated the remains of a Roman mausoleum “with an astonishing level of preservation”.
The mausoleum is the best-preserved Roman tomb ever discovered on British soil. The tomb is a two-story building which appears to have been intended for a wealthy Roman family. However, no coffins, sarcophagi or even the remains of buried people could be found during the excavations.
The mosaic in the center of the tomb is a flower pattern in the center surrounded by concentric circles. The central mosaic is decorated with an elevated platform on which, according to the researchers, the burials were placed.
MOLA experts have suggested that the mausoleum may have been uncovered as early as the Middle Ages. Archaeologists hope to accurately determine the age of the found structure. They have already created a three-dimensional model of the mausoleum, and they are also considering plans to open public access to the ancient object in the future.
Interestingly, Roman mausoleums were common in ancient Rome. They were tombs where rich and noble people were buried. The mausoleums were notable for their luxurious architecture and decorations, including mosaics. The most famous mausoleum is the Mausoleum of Augustus, built in Rome in 28 BC.
Archaeological finds allow us to learn more about the life of ancient civilizations and their cultures. As Professor Chris Gosden, director of the Institute of Archaeology at Oxford University, notes, “Archaeology is a window into the past that allows us to better understand our own history and culture.