Accidentally discovered almost half a century ago, after being buried under an ancient farmhouse of 1700/1800, the Villa Romana del Tellaro was reported entirely to light as a result of illegal excavations blocked by the police in 1971. Located in the district Vaddeddi, about 3 km west of the ancient city of Eloro near the river Tellaro, it is a masterpiece of the fourth century a. C., an extraordinary discovery in the eastern Sicily.
The ancient villa of imperial age was opened to the public on March 15th , 2008 after several years of exploration, excavations and restoration. Its conditions were strongly affected by the foundations of the farm, importune and overlapping, which contributed to the damage and deterioration of some sectors. The great feature of this discovery is represented by the majestic mosaics that covered the floors of the whole building, they unfortunately were seriously damaged by a fire of the fifth century a. C. The mosaics are among the most significant of the time and, although fewer in number than those of the famous Villa del Casale in Piazza Armerina, are considered of great prestige by critics. Among the mosaics, don’t lose the beautiful floor located in the north side of the door, an extraordinary carpet with polychrome geometry. Another mosaic of great interest is that which depicts a scene of great effectiveness representing the redemption of Hector’s body weight in gold; still others depicting some moments of Roman life as hunting scenes, or the banquets to be attended by hunters accompanied by horses and especially servants, intent to perform the ritual washing of hands to diners in a sign of spiritual purification. In general, all the mosaics of the Villa del Tellaro are attributed to workers operating in the major centers of North Africa between the third and fourth centuries after Christ.