THIS beautiful translucent dish belonged to a wealthy East Londoner living in Roman Britain 1,700 years ago. The rare 'millefiori bowl - meaning 'one thousand flowers was unearthed by archaeologists in London and is thought to be the first find of its kind in the western Roman empire. Researchers believe it will give fresh insight into life in Roman Britain. The dish is made up of hundreds of translucent blue indented glass petals, bordered with white embedded in a bright red glass background. Millefiori is a glass working technique using glass rods with multi-coloured patterns that are only visible at the cut ends - like a stick of rock. The delicate artefact has been painstakingly pieced together from the many fragments found during excavations in Prescot Street, Aldgate, in East London. Glass experts say it is the first time such a complete dish has been found outside of the eastern Roman empire - where finds like this have been made in Egypt and surrounding areas. It will go on display at the Museum of London in Docklands. The dish was found in the grave of the Roman East Londoner whose cremated remains were uncovered, probably buried in a wooden container, in a cemetery in Londiniums eastern quarter. A number of other ceramic and glass vessels were also ranged along the sides of the casket, suggesting a rich and unusual burial. Liz Goodman, Museum of London archaeology conservator, said: 'Piecing together and conserving such a complete artefact offered a rare and thrilling challenge. 'We occasionally get tiny fragments of millefiori, but the opportunity to work on a whole artefact of this nature is extraordinary. 'The dish is extremely fragile but the glasswork is intact and illuminates beautifully nearly two millennia after being crafted. Guy Hunt, director of the firm L-P:Archaeology, said: 'The dig at Prescot Street produced an amazing range of Roman cemetery archaeology. DM 'It is fantastic for us that one of the many finds is such an exciting and beautiful object. It is great to be able to put an object such as this into context and to get a first-hand impression of a rather wealthy East Londoner. DM