EXCITING progress has been made on unearthing a Roman mosaic in Colchester city centre.

It follows the discovery of a Roman mosaic in Lion Walk shopping centre, and work is continuing as the mosaic is uncovered by archaeologists, inch by inch.

It is estimated that about a fifth of the mosaic has been uncovered so far.

Longer term, there are plans for a glass casing to be put into place so shoppers can see the mosaic underneath their feet in the shopping arcade.

It is hoped the project will be completed by the end of the summer, but in the meantime, digging is continuing following Monday’s discovery.

Gazette: Work is ongoing to unearth the remarkably preserved Roman mosaicWork is ongoing to unearth the remarkably preserved Roman mosaic (Image: Martin Leatherdale)

Members of the public have crowded around the archaeology site on their way past to take a look at the mosaic, which is one of 40 which have been discovered in Colchester over the past 200 years.

The form of artwork, which is synonymous with the Roman Empire, has lain underground for about 1,800 years.

But hour by hour, more and more of the mosaic is being uncovered by archaeologists who beginning to gain an understanding of the pattern.

Gazette: Archaeologists continue to unearth the mosaic in Lion WalkArchaeologists continue to unearth the mosaic in Lion Walk (Image: Martin Leatherdale)

The Lion Walk centre manager, Martin Leatherdale, said: “Continuing on from our find yesterday, we have continued the digging to uncover parts of the mosaic never seen before in recent times.

“So far, we estimate that we have uncovered one fifth of the entire mosaic: the north western corner of a square floor plan, a circle in each corner, and a circle in the middle.”

Mr Leatherdale said the site was secured on Monday evening due to the importance of the discovery.

“We took the decision late last night to secure the site and continue to today.

“The interest from passers-by and visitors has been phenomenal and we are confident that we are in a good position to understand the science and infrastructure changes required to unveil this masterpiece in all its glory this summer.”

Philip Crummy, who has been the director of Colchester Archaeology Trust for 53 years, said: “I look forward to more projects like this.”