Archaeological News

            The latest news in archaeology.       


counter for tumblr
Posts tagged "mosaic"

The imposing mosaic unearthed in the burial mound complex at Amphipolis in northern Greece might contain the best-ever portrait of Alexander the Great as a young man, according to a new interpretation of the stunning artwork, which depicts the abduction of Persephone.

It might also confirm previous speculation that the tomb belongs to Olympias, the mother of Alexander the Great.

The mosaic portrays the soul-escorting Hermes, Hades and Persephone. In reality, the mosaic most likely has human counterparts represented in the guise of the three mythological characters, said Andrew Chugg, author of “The Quest for the Tomb of Alexander the Great.”

“I am thinking very much that Persephone should be an image of the occupant of the tomb being driven into the Underworld,” Chugg told Discovery News. Read more.


A splendid mosaic revealed by archaeologists excavating a massive tomb on Kasta Hill in Ancient Amphipolis in northern Greece on Sunday, depicts the abduction of Persephone, the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, by the god of the underworld, archaeologists said on Thursday.

The 3x4.5 meter mosaic initially showed a horseman with a laurel wreath driving a chariot drawn by two horses and preceded by the god Hermes. According to a Culture Ministry announcement, Hermes is depicted as the conductor of souls to the afterlife.

The mosaic is made up of pebbles in several colors: white, black, grey, blue, red and yellow. A circular part, near the center of the mosaic, was missing, but authorities found enough fragments to reconstruct most of it, revealing the face of Persephone, who, according to myth, is the personification of spring and vegetation. (source)

Archaeologists have publicized photos of a stunning mosaic floor recently excavated within the ancient tomb of Amphipolis in northern Greece.

According to the Greek Ministry of Culture, the beautiful mosaic was discovered in the second chamber of the tomb, the site of the Caryatids‘ discovery. The colorful floor was laid with white, black, grey, blue, red and yellow pebbles and depicts a chariot in motion. Hermes, the messenger of the gods, is pictured in front of the chariot.

“The central theme is a chariot in motion, pulled by two white horses and driven by a bearded man, crowned with a laurel wreath,” the Ministry said in a statement. Read more.

A columned Roman-era road has been discovered during excavations in the southern province of Hatay’s İssos ruins. A mosaic floor has also been unearthed next to the 15-meter-wide road.

Archaeological excavations started in the region in 2006 in order to prevent damage caused by illegal excavations. Other findings have so far included a bath complex from the late Roman era and examination rooms used by doctors, as well as an Odeon, which is a place for musical performances, and a theater.

The Archaeology Museum’s archaeologist and head of the excavations, Ömer Çelik, said the first architectural complex unearthed in the İssos ruins in 2006 was a bath complex from the late Roman era. Read  more.

Thrilled archaeologists have made an exciting discovery about Gloucestershire’s Roman past.

The two-week project at Chedworth Roman Villa has unearthed a mosaic which has taken all-involved by surprise.

In charge of the excavation, National Trust archaeologist, Dr Martin Papworth said: “This is a brand new, unknown mosaic.

“The excavation site, which we are working on, had been excavated by the late Sir Ian Richmond in the 1960s, and he had not recorded any mosaic floors during his work here. Read more.

Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Brigham Young University, Trinity University (Texas), University of Toronto, and University of Wyoming believe that they have uncovered the first ancient synagogue mosaic to feature a non-biblical narrative.

In 2012, the team, led by Jodi Magness, Kenan distinguished professor for teaching excellence in early Judaism at Chapel Hill, excavated a mosaic at the 5th-century synagogue at Huqoq, in Israel’s Lower Galilee, which represented Samson tying torches to foxes’ tails, per Judges 15:4. Last year, the scholars found a second mosaic, which depicted Samson shouldering Gaza’s gate.

The third mosaic, which the researchers uncovered in 2013 and continued to unearth through this summer, has an entirely different iconographic program. The mosaic, which is split into three registers along the synagogue east aisle, shows spears piercing a bloody bull, and what a UNC press release describes as “a dying or dead soldier holding a shield.” Read more.

One of the oldest surviving complete Roman mosaics dating from 1,700 years ago, a spectacular discovery made in Lod in Israel, will go on show at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire, UK. The exhibition Predators and Prey: A Roman Mosaic from Lod, Israel is presented in association with the Israel Antiquities Authority and in collaboration with the British Museum, from 5 June – 2 November 2014.

Measuring eight metres long and four metres wide, and in exceptional condition, the Lod mosaic depicts a paradise of birds, animals, shells and fishes, including one of the earliest images of a rhinoceros and a giraffe, richly decorated with geometric patterns and set in lush landscapes. Read more.

The team headed by Dr Rina Avner has uncovered remains of a settlement dating to Byzantine period (4-6th centuries CE).

Among other finds, the site has yielded a main building – a large hall about 12 m long x 8.5 m wide.

“Its ceiling was apparently covered with roof tiles. The hall’s impressive opening and the breathtaking mosaic that adorns its floor suggest that the structure was a public building,” the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement.

“The well-preserved mosaic is decorated with geometric patterns and its corners are enhanced with amphorae – jars used to transport wine, a pair of peacocks, and a pair of doves pecking at grapes on a tendril. These are common designs that are known from this period. However, what makes this mosaic unique is the large number of motifs that were incorporated in one carpet.” Read more.