Category: Mosaic (Page 1 of 2)

The Triumphs of Pelops and Bellerophon: Unique Mosaic Evidence of Romanitas in Late Roman Britain

At long last Cambridge University Press has published online in First View,  the report commissioned by the BHP and written by the late Anthony Beeson and Matt Nichol. The 41 page report is available to download – sadly at a cost of £20 unless you have a Cambridge Core Account. This will be published in hard copy at the end of the year in Britannia. It’s just sad that Anthony did not live to see it published.




The book written by Anthony Beeson and Matt Nichol with a foreword from Joy Appleton tells the story in words and wonderful photos of this extraordinary Roman find in Boxford. Sales are going well. According to publisher Countryside Books, over 1000 copies of The Boxford Mosaic book have been sold. The book is now available from many bookshops including Blackwells in Oxford and online.  Copies are also available from St.Andrew’s Church or the Heritage Centre in Boxford. Please email:



Day 4 for diggers

Despite a very warm day Matt was well pleased with progress. Everyone headed for shade at lunchtime.

Mortarium pieces?

Rather grisly selection but there have been a lot of bones!

and sadly some of these tesserae – that should be in the mosaic.

Photos from Joy, Helen and Liz

Morning briefing from Matt

Thanks to David for Friday’s photos

Day 3 for Diggers

Good progress made today, good weather, good company and even some finds.

The very keen return quickly after the tea break.

Jim with some serious help from Joel in trench 1.

That wretched land drain again!

Very nice little Roman brooch – still in working order.

Photos today from Richard

Day 2 for diggers

Great progress so early in the dig although trench 1 turned into a serious mattocking day!

Matt and Sam deliberating
Gently does it!
Walls showing up clearly in trench 2
Aerial view of both trenches
An unexpected find – an antler in trench 2
Finds cleaning – somebody’s got to do it!

Photos kindly supplied by David and Richard

Day 1 for diggers!

Diggers on the march!
Matt’s morning briefing
The mosaic trench (2) is on the left. The righthand trench is through the middle of the villa
Men and women at work!
A big boot find in trench 1 – actually on a wall!

A really successful day with all hands working hard to clean the trenches and some good pottery and glass finds.
It was really great to be able to catch up on lots of news with friends from the previous digs and we welcomed several newcomers too.

We made a start to MHV19!

A terrific start to the dig! Marquees, Gary’s tent and our Sponsors Board all up on Saturday; loos, tools and equipment delivered today – so we look very posh! To cap it all, Matt spotted that red tesserae border as Scud was excavating the mosaic trench.

But this time it’s in a different place – we can see it clearly up against the party wall to the adjoining room and it looks fine. So here’s hoping the central panels will be as good.

The red tesserae border
Matt – A happy man!

Photos thanks to Dave


Boxford’s community project to fully excavate the Bellerophon Mosaic in the local Roman villa will be starting soon. Also in the planning is an Open Day for members of the public to see this extraordinary mosaic for themselves. The date has been set as Saturday August 31st and the site will be open from 10am to 4pm.

The mosaic only partially uncovered in 2017 due to time constraints, was considered by experts to be the most important Roman mosaic found in the UK for the last fifty years. It depicts many scenes from Greek myths – almost like a story book or a cartoon strip on the floor. The chief character is the celebrated flying knight of Greek myth – Bellerophon, son of the god Poseidon who is frequently portrayed on the back of the winged horse Pegasus.

Volunteers return this year in the hope that the remainder of the mosaic is undamaged and when fully uncovered will perhaps reveal the owner of this modest villa. From the little we have seen so far, he must have been well educated and probably well travelled. Why did he come to Boxford and what happened to the villa are questions that still hang in the air.

Below: Richard Miller’s photo from 2017

Dig update

First of all, sorry about the break in transmission but WordPress websites were upgraded and the subscription configuration to the blog was lost in the ether! Anyhow now all fixed by our webmaster.
We have had a huge response to the call for volunteers – now over 80! It’s really great but we have to restrict numbers on site each day, so have started a waiting list for any latecomers.
We are all looking forward to August and the great reveal!

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