Archaeologists have undertaken a large-scale excavation in Uzès, a city in southern France. They found mosaic floors dating back to Roman times, when the city was called Ucetia. [Read the full story here]
The dig is taking place ahead of the construction of a school's boarding facility. Before the students can move in, archaeologists need to make sense of this site's ancient (and medieval) inhabitants.
One of the most impressive finds was a mosaic floor, dating back second half of the first century B.C., discovered in the ruins of what's thought to be a Roman public building.
This detail shows a wave-patterned border from the well-preserved mosaic.
Besides the geometric patterns, this particular design included an animal in each corner. Shown here is the fawn. The other corners feature an eagle, an owl and a duck.
Cleaning the mosaics
This view shows the whole room, which had a complex series of mosaics. Two biggest mosaics have geometric motifs that frame central medallions
Archaeologists think this building stood until the A.D. 1st century.
Dolphins in the domus
The excavators also found a house of a wealthy Roman at the site, from the A.D. 1st century. One room in this building contained a pavement with some geometrically arranged mosaic tiles, and and dolphin motifs.
The house had something like a central heating system. This so-called hypocaust was uncovered in one corner of the building. This is where the hot air would have circulated under the house.