A five-year excavation brought a unique treasure, archaeologists discovered a stunning 2,300-year-old mosaic near the Roman Colosseum.
Scientists made the discovery while excavating on the side of the Palatine in Rome, uncovering a large first- or second-century banquet room characterized by a large, intact, brightly colored mosaic wall.
2,300-year-old mosaic made of coral and seashells emerges from Rome after five years
Historians estimate the work to be 2,300 years old and form part of an aristocratic palace near the Forum Romanum (a rectangular public square that was located in the center of ancient Rome) that archaeologists have been excavating since 2018.
The ancient work of art is approximately five meters long and consists of colorful shells, nacre (also known as nacre, a collection of combined organic and inorganic materials produced by some molluscs), shells, coral, rare glass and marble.
The masterpiece depicts a legendary underwater scene with mythical sea creatures, lotus leaves, vines and a multi-headed spear, reports CNN.
“In ancient times, when powerful noble families inhabited the Palatine, it was customary to use rich decorative elements as a symbol of extravagance and high social status,” said Alfoncio Russo, head of the Colosseum Archaeological Park.
Professor Alfoncio described the discovery as unique and said the room would have overlooked the garden and would have been important for entertaining guests in the summer months.
Marco Rossi, professor of Roman archeology and head of the mosaic laboratory at the University of Roma Tre, explained: “The mosaics are usually found on the floors, but they stretch across the entire front wall and are incredibly well preserved. They were not destroyed by the weight of the debris, as can happen with some mosaics.” The Earth, though fragile, has not suffered cracks over the centuries.
The detailed mosaics also feature naval and land battles won by a wealthy aristocratic patron who would have celebrated his victories with this piece.
Professor Marco Rossi explained that the artwork could have been a sign of great social status and wealth, and that this type of find is extremely rare because the wall pieces are more delicate than those on the floors, which were designed to withstand being stepped on.
Alfoncio explained that those working on the project are trying to confirm whether the coral used in the piece came from the Mediterranean or the Red Sea and hope to reveal the identity of the owner, who is likely a member of the Roman Senate. .
They also hope to have the space open to the public from January.
A two-second flash of plasma operating a developed thermonuclear reactor model in Russia
Scientists from the National Research Center “Kurchatov Institute” obtained a plasma flash in a new model of thermonuclear reactor “Tokamak T-15MD” with a plasma current of 260 kiloamperes.
The plasma flash continued for more than two seconds, setting a record among thermonuclear “Tokamak” reactors in Russia.
The press service of the Kurchatov Institute stated: “This indicator is a record among Russian thermonuclear tokamak reactors in terms of the duration of their plasma pulse.”
She added that the temperature of the electronic component of the plasma reached about 40 million degrees Celsius.
It is noteworthy that the Kurchatov Institute reviewed the readiness of all its components in May 2021 with the participation of Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. As for turning on the power of the reactor, where the first high-temperature plasma was obtained, this was achieved in March 2023. The temperature of the plasma at that time reached one million degrees Celsius, while its pulse lasted for only 100 milliseconds. As for the consumed capacity of the reactor, it reached 30 megawatts.
Now the temperature has reached 40 million degrees Celsius. Much higher than the temperature of the solar plasma.
The head of the Kurchatov Institute, Mikhail Kovalchuk, pointed out that the achieved rates are not an end in themselves for researchers. He explained: “The thermonuclear reactor is important to us as a source of thermonuclear neutrons and is part of the technology cycle of the future green nuclear energy and the “Atomic Project 2.0”. We were the first to show scientists the “Tokomak” reactor in the world, and now we have solved the problem of creation. The prototype of the new tokamak, which would become a powerful source of neutrons, was calculated and developed in a short time and is now successfully working, and this is a great success for Russian science.”