The Reconstructed Panel: Sorting Out

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In July 2002 we were able to start.

The owners of the Site of the Villa gave us the bags of tesserae (bits of stone tiles). All archaelogical remains belong to land owners of the land on which they are found.

Photo of Lopen History GroupIn return the Lopen History Group was able to give a reduced copy of a photograph of the complete floor.


John and Mary Osborne, Alan Grahame, Chairman Alistair Rouston and Lopen History group members’, and volunteers.
Photo Copyright © Pauline Rook







Photo of cantharus We had to guess what part of the floor pattern we could recreate because we did not know how much we had of which colours.  We decided on the ewer (cantharus).


Photo of villagers washing the tesseraePhoto Nicholas Durnan

Volunteers scrubbing and sorting ‘1600 year old jig-saw weekend’ was the time when at least 50 volunteers came to help sort the contents of the bags and wash them.

Photo Copyright © Pauline Rook

Photo of the cantharus being drawn

A plan of the cantharus had been drawn to the exact size of the original by Nicholas Durnan (Sculpture Conservator) helped by Calypso Owen.
Photo Copyright © Pauline Rook


We overlaid this with a sheet of perspex and the volunteers began to place the tesserae on the plan to build up the design.


Photo of the panel paritally made

It was important to have the side that had been smoothed by Roman feet to be uppermost. The more we did the more we understood about the way the original mosaic artists worked. It was more difficult then we thought to get the design to look smooth.

Photo Copyright © Pauline Rook