Archaeologists have found a 2,000-year-old Roman fresco near Leadenhall Market

 
Emma Haslett
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Mola's Luisa Duarte works on one of 16 sections of the collapsed wall

Archaeologists have discovered one of the earliest surviving frescoes from Roman Britain on Lime Street, near Leadenhall Market.

The painting, which is thought to have adorned the home of a wealthy Roman citizen, dates back to the first century - making it more than 2,000 years old.

Discovered six metres below street level, the painting depicts deer nibbling at trees, as well as birds, fruit and a wine.

Museum of London Archaeology (Mola) said the design, which is likely to have decorated a reception room where guests were greeted and entertained, contained a slight error, suggesting it there was more than one person involved in painting it.

The painting was preserved after the house it was in was demolished in AD 100 to make way for the construction of the second Forum Basilica, London's main civic centre and the largest Roman building ever built north of the Alps.

“A very old construction project sealed this exceptional fresco in the ground, and it is thanks to modern development that our archaeologists had the opportunity to explore our buried past," said Claire Cogar, archaeology project manager at Mola.

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