Stucco Plaster work
Fragments of hand modelled plaster, called 'stucco' work was used to decorate the walls of the Roman residence.
This freehand plaster decoration is made up of human figures, architectural features, leaf patterns etc, and was more commonly found in high-status buildings in Italy, as well as such public buildings as the bath houses of Rome, Pompeii, and Herculaneum.
It is extremely rare and never before seen in England.
Dating it to the late 2nd Century to early 3rd Century, experts confirm it would have been made by highly skilled craftsmen, who probably travelled from Italy to the Bedford Villa to execute this very expensive, possibly one of a kind artistic commission.
Above: One example of a similar type of stucco decoration in the so-called 'Nobles Quarter' of Pompeii. Experts think two of the rooms at Bedford Roman villa were decorated like this.
Found at Bedford
Pictured left: rare handmade 'stucco' plaster work of a leaf.
Right: leaf shape highlighted
Far right: a human hand