Anthony Beeson, Matt Nichol, and Joy Appleton
Countryside Books, £12
Review Rebecca Jones
This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of one of the most spectacular finds of recent years (see CA 356). Divided into three sections, the first conveys the thrill, through text and photographs, that the local community felt at the discovery of the most exciting mosaic for the last 50 years. Three of their volunteers were expert photographers – this is evident in their excellent images.
The second section provides the archaeological background and wider historical narrative, and the third extensive section takes us through the myths and characters depicted, talking through some of the academic debates that have taken place on the visible text and its reconstruction.
The artists’ impressions and proposed restorations of missing sections of the mosaic deliver tantalising clues as to the origins and status of the villa’s owners. The mosaic is ‘innovative and delightful’ – and the same is true of this book.