Photos: 2,000-Year-Old Roman Fresco Unearthed in London

A Roman fresco nearly 2,000 years old was unearthed at a construction site in the middle of London. It might be one of the earliest wall paintings of its kind from Roman Britain. [Read the full story on the rare wall mural]

Decorating with nature

This central panel shows the most detailed part of the fresco, with deer and birds decorating the painting. (Credit: MOLA)

Life of the elite

In total, the surviving section of the artwork measures 8 feet (2.4 meters) across and 5 feet (1.5 m) high. It may have decorated the reception room of a wealthy person's home. (Credit: MOLA)

Delicate touch needed

In this image, archaeological conservator Luisa Duarte, of the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA), works on a section of the painting. (Credit: MOLA)

Fragility embodied

After archaeologists removed the 16 major sections of the fresco, still encased in dirt, they cleaned it during a microexcavation in the lab. (Credit: MOLA)

Lucky find

Archaeologists from MOLA discovered the artwork while digging ahead of the construction of an office complex in the middle of the city. (Credit: MOLA)

Prepping for construction

The painted wall was likely sealed underground ahead of the construction of the 2nd Roman Forum of London in the 2nd century A.D. (Credit: MOLA)

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Megan Gannon
Live Science Contributor
Megan has been writing for Live Science and since 2012. Her interests range from archaeology to space exploration, and she has a bachelor's degree in English and art history from New York University. Megan spent two years as a reporter on the national desk at NewsCore. She has watched dinosaur auctions, witnessed rocket launches, licked ancient pottery sherds in Cyprus and flown in zero gravity. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.