A ROMAN mosaic which was discovered in the city centre will now not be put on permanent display after archaeologists encountered "unforeseen challenges".

The historic mosaic, synonymous with the Roman Empire, was unearthed at Lion Walk back in March and is estimated to be nearly 2,000 years old. 

According to specialists, the artwork is one of 40 found over the past 200 years in Colchester. 

The triangular piece, is understood to have been part of a bigger piece and could have been part of an affluent Roman’s home. 

Archaeologists had initially hoped to fully recover and encase the beautiful mosaic in glass by the end of the summer through a joint project with Colchester Council, Lion Walk and the Colchester Archaeological Trust. 


However, the team which had been working towards being able to publicly display the mosaic stumbled upon a major issue. 

A high-voltage cable was found nearby, which Colchester Council bosses established would cost a lot of money to move in order to retrieve the mosaic. 

A spokesman for the authority said: “Unfortunately, the archaeological team encountered an unforeseen challenge during the excavation of the mosaic.


"While carefully uncovering the historic remnants, they discovered a high-voltage cable running directly over the area where the mosaic was originally unearthed in the 19th century.  

“Relocating this cable would require significant infrastructural modifications, which would far exceed the allocated budget for this project."

The director of Colchester Archaeological Trust, Philip Crummy, previously told the Gazette Colchester is likely to have more Roman mosaics than any other town in Britain. 

He was looking forward to further projects in the city centre, but the Lion Walk project has now, unfortunately, ground to a halt. 

"The council recognises the profound importance of preserving our cultural heritage and the excitement surrounding this unique discovery," the spokesman added.

"However, we are also mindful that this expense cannot be justified at a time of severe financial challenge for both the council and residents. 

“In light of these circumstances, we have made the difficult decision not to proceed with the project to permanently display the mosaic to the public at this time.”