Mysterious Medusa Mosaics Discovered in 2nd-Century Roman Villa

While excavating a villa used by ancient Roman emperors in Italy, archaeologists discovered something unexpected: two mosaics depicting the Greek mythological figure Medusa, whose hair was made of serpents and whose gaze was believed to transform stone people.

The team found the mosaics in a circular room in the Villa des Antonines, so called because it was used by members of the Antonine dynasty who ruled the Roman Empire from 138 to 193 AD. The mosaics likely date to the 2nd century AD, the researchers said during a presentation at the Archaeological Institute of America’s annual meeting, held in New Orleans in January.

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