Inside the Sussex Roman museum which is quite literally collecting dust

WATCH: ITV Meridian's James Dunham reports from Fishbourne Roman Palace in Chichester

A museum representing 2000 year old history is quite literally collecting dust.

I say literally because all of the dust build up which is being wiped away from the precious pieces of roman history is being stockpiled.

It actually sounds rather unpleasant, as dust particles can be made up of human skin, hair and bacteria (yuck!) but the folk at Fishbourne Roman Palace in Chichester, West Sussex have very good reason to...

They want to assess whether they could improve their cleaning process to help their preservation of the mosaics.

Staff at the largest Roman home in Britain are currently undertaking the herculean task of sprucing up their artefacts.

Dr Rob Symons, curator, said: “The idea is we take the dust to create an archive over the years look at how it’s changed."We can look at how we get amount of dust in different parts of the site.

"We can look at how its composition has changed, how different things might be living in it.

"You might find you’ve got more or less near the walkways because that’s where the visitors are.

Staff are hoping the work will help preserve the mosaics for the future. Credit: ITV Meridian

"We will also be monitoring any tiny flecks of the mosaic material itself to see whether we’ve got very slow erosion of the mosaics to give early warning of problems down the line so that we can react before they become a really big problem.”Ben Cooper, mosaic cleaner, said: “It’s really interesting to know the work I’m doing is helping to preserve these mosaics for future generations.

"We get a lot of school kids here, and telling them about the history is really interesting as it helps to explain what the Romans were doing 2000 years ago, which they find fascinating.”

The clean up operation will be complete by mid-February in time for the museum's opening to the public.

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