Dating from the 2nd or 3rd century AD, and acquired by a citizen of the ancient Roman outpost of Londinium, it is made of hundreds of mosaic tiles shaped like petals, blue with white bordering. And nothing like it has ever been found intact in the Western Roman Empire.
The artifact was found 2.5 to 3 meters (yards) down at a sprawling ancient cemetery in Aldgate, east London, just beyond the old city walls. Romans were required by law to bury their dead outside the city gates.
It formed part of a cache of grave goods found close to a wooden container holding the ashes of a probably wealthy Roman citizen of Londinium.
Other artifacts recovered with the bowl included ceramic pottery and glass flasks which once contained perfumed oil used to anoint the body.