Floor - Opus Sectile

The recomposition of the opus sectile floor benefited greatly of the extraordinary advice provided by Professor Federico Guidobaldi and Professor Demetrios Michaelides, two of the most acknowledged experts in the field. The two scholars attended a meeting at the CCA laboratory on September 7, 2012, examined the material, and provided fundamental hints for the reconstruction of the floor.
Among the many questions arisen about the original layout of the floor, one concerned the function of slate tiles. In Roman floors, slate tiles could be used as a support for the floor, placed below thinner tiles, or directly as elements of the floor together with tiles of other materials, such as marble. A close examination of the pieces in the restoration laboratory clarified that the slate slabs were used as tiles and not as a support for the floor. This helped explaining the great variety of materials found in the excavation of Sant'Imbenia.
Once these questions have been solved, the restorers started reassembling the floor.
At present, more than four hundred and fifty matches have been found among the pieces. One hundred and sixty-one sections of the floor have been recomposed, including 989 small triangular tiles, 35 large rectangular tiles and 22 small rectangular tiles. Three hundred fragments still need to find their original setting and matches.