– For a long time, the ancient Roman city of Ucetia in southern France was known only by its name. Now archaeologists have unearthed traces of the ancient city near Nîmes.
Beautifully preserved sets of mosaics and remains of public buildings can now shed new light on an unknown chapter in the ancient history of long-lost city of Ucetia.
Roman civilization conquered England, Spain and France, Belgium, parts of Germany and Switzerland. They had plenty of territorial holdings across the Mediterranean in Europe and Africa too, plus large parts of Asia.
The Roman Republic began its takeover of Celtic Gaul in 121BC. Julius Caesar defeated the last of the Celtic tribes in the Gallic Wars of 58-51 BC.
The ancient city was first discovered when researchers found ‘Ucitia’ inscribed on a stone slab in nearby Nîmes.
However, no evidence of the city was found until a 43,056 sq ft (4,000m sq) site was excavated by archaeologists to make way to build a boarding school and canteen.
So far, no artifacts have been recovered from the site, but the mosaics are rare traces of what may have been a civic building that was used through the end of the 1st century CE.
The remarkable mosaics are highly detailed, decorated with geometric motifs that border central medallions. The larger of the pair also features four wide-eyed, polychrome animals: an owl, a duck, an eagle, and a fawn. The ancient motifs combine classical geometric shapes with animals.
The mosaic is very impressive because of its large size and its good state of conservation.
To learn more about the mysterious ancient city of Ucetia, archaeologists are now excavating a nearby site where two carriageways and a crossroads have already been discovered.