Micrograph of the Month: Roman floors

I haven't posted a micrograph for ages, but this one is so pretty I just had to share it. I'm in the middle of doing an analysis of Roman occupation deposits for the Lufton Roman Villa project. I don't know too much about the wider context yet, but my initial observations of this particular sample suggests we are looking at an old floor surface. There are 3 distinct layers, and the uppermost layer is composed of a calcareous material, in which are embedded lots of tiny crushed up ceramic fragments. The middle layer is a sandy aggregate with the occasional bit of soil/clay and charcoal, and there is a very thin lowermost layer (thin because of the sample size, not sure yet how thick it was in the field) which has a lot of organic material including wood and grass charcoal, and possibly fungal spores. I will be writing more on this as the analysis progresses, but for now here is a nice image of one of the ceramic fragments (the orangey-red rectangular inclusion) embedded in the grey calcareous/lime layer. This also shows the boundary between the lime layer and the underlying sandy aggregate.