In 2015, Italian archaeologists, while conducting excavations in a small village in Tuscany, partially discovered a Roman mosaic. The discovery is located near the local road in the village of Capraia e Limite.
The mosaic shows geometric shapes surrounded by floral motifs (dating from the 4th century CE) and octagons decorated with animals, flowers and human busts (5th century CE). The mosaic adorned the floor of a rich Roman villa that had been in the Tuscan countryside for four centuries – from the 1st to the 6th centuries CE.
The villa has been known to researchers since 1983 when archaeologists unearthed fragments of the black and white mosaic. A stone slab with an inscription was also found on the site, mentioning Vettius Agorius Praetextatus, one of the most famous pagan senators of the late 4th century CE, most likely the owner of the property. He was a noble and died in 384 CE. serving as a praetorian prefect during the reign of Emperor Valentinian II.
It was an open secret that the Roman politician adored his villas in Tuscany and stayed there often. Quintus Aurelius Symmachus, another prominent Roman politician and orator, reminded Vettius in one of his letters that he tasted opium more often in the provinces than in politics in Rome.
Villa in the 4th century CE was rebuilt in a truly aristocratic style. Until the beginning of the 6th century CE, the property was abandoned and fell into disrepair.