Builders dig up lost pleasure garden of the ancient Romans

From the Times Online: Builders dig up lost pleasure garden of the ancient Romans.

Mosaics from the fabled Gardens of Lucullus, one of the pioneering influences on gardening, have been brought to light after 2,000 years by archaeologists in Rome.

The vast terraced gardens, or Horti, covered what is now the built-up area above the Spanish Steps. The first known attempt in the West to "tame nature" through landscaping, the gardens were laid out around a patrician villa in the middle of the 1st century BC by Lucius Licinius Lucullus, one of Ancient Rome’s most celebrated generals, after he retired in disillusion from war and politics.

They became a benchmark for all Roman pleasure gardens, and were taken over and developed by Roman emperors. The 1st-century mosaics decorated the nymphaeum, an artificial grotto with water features. One depicts a corpulent cupid riding a dolphin and another a wolf’s head in green and gold.

They were found [continue]