Pagan Mosaic Found Underneath Church

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"A Roman mosaic floor filled with scenes depicting pagan rites and oriental gods has emerged from the ground of a Catholic church in Italy, archaeologists announced.
The mosaic pavement, which measures 13 square meters (140 square feet) and dates to the fourth century A.D., was unearthed at a depth of about 4 meters (13 feet) below the the ground's surface during archaeological investigations in the crypt of the Cathedral of Reggio Emilia, in central-northern Italy.
"The size and design of the mosaic pavement suggest that it formed the floor of a huge room. We believe this was the residence of a wealthy Roman," Renata Curina, the archaeologist in charge of the dig, told Discovery News.
The fact that depictions of pagan gods had lain for hundreds of years just a few meters under the cathedral doesn't come too much as a surprise, according to the archaeologist.
"The church was built on top of preexisting building structures. This is rather normal in Reggio Emilia. We can see that little care was taken of the mosaic floor, since pillars are built on top of it," Curina said.
Made up of small tesserae -- tiny tiles -- of different materials, which include colored stones, glass cameos and golden leaves, the intricate mosaic floor features geometric designs of circles and squares with little figures of dancers, flowers and birds such as magpies and peacocks.
What makes the mosaic unique, however, are three large mythological scenes."
Curina's right. Christians often built on top of Pagan sites, particularly ones of cultural significance. This was to assert themselves as the dominant and only culture, effectively destroying anything different or older than their religion.
Sidetrack: I love the Christians who adamantly believe that the early church wasn't Catholic. True, it wasn't in the sense of the Catholicism we know today. It certainly (de)evolved into it. The same people claim that the Catholic church wasn't the only form of Christianity in the Middle Ages. Sure, perhaps not everyone believed in everything the Pope forced down their throats. But they sure as hell didn't talk about it, let alone form anything that could possibly be construed as even a critique of the church. The Catholic church squashed anything that might be thought of as opposing it.
That's partly why Joan of Arc was killed. She was a lay-person who had an alleged direct connection with the Divine. She was not clergy, she was a woman, and an entity which they could not control.
Anyone who thinks that there were churches that did not subscribe to the Catholic doctrine during the Middle Ages obviously does not know their history very well.

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