A detailed Roman mosaic depicting two birds perched on a vessel has been uncovered during routine water pipe maintenance in the municipality of Avenches, canton Vaud.
The mosaic’s design consists of a square extending 1.55 metres (five feet) on each side, with rich decorations and a thick border of small yellow stones. In the centre, a medallion highlights a container upon which two birds are perched.
The sanitation work, which involved digging a trench over 500 metres long, also uncovered remains of houses and graves.
In a statement on Wednesday, the canton of Vaud said that the mosaic was part of the remains of a building on the outskirts of the Roman archaeological site in Avenchesexternal link – an area that has so far been little explored but is believed to contain ruins of especially high-quality buildings.
After being cleaned, the mosaic will be transferred to the collections of the Roman Museum of Avenches.