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Archaeological hotspot Intricate Roman mosaic discovered in western Switzerland

An archaeologist examines the Roman mosaic discovered in Avenches

Avenches was the capital of modern day Switzerland during the Roman era, and the region is the subject of ongoing archaeological research.


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.


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