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The Life of Motifs: Mosaic Decoration in Late Antiquity
Speaker: Lucille A. Roussin, PhD, Attorney-At-Law

A mosaic pavement, discovered in 1996 in Lod, Israel, ancient Diospolis, is one of the best preserved and iconographically important mosaic pavements in Israel. Mosaic pavements are one of the most conspicuous elements of interior decoration preserved in late antique buildings, both public and domestic. The Lod mosaic provides us with an almost unprecedented wealth of images for a study of late Roman iconography. More significantly this mosaic provides us with abundant evidence that either the mosaic workshops traveled throughout the late Roman empire, or, more likely, that pattern books compiling imagery that can be dated all the way back to the first century of the Roman empire circulated among artists and artisans working in various mediums.

This lecture series has been made possible by the generosity of Isaac Gilinski.


Predators and Prey: A Roman Mosaic from Lod, Israel

In 1996, workmen widening the Jerusalem–Tel Aviv road in Lod (formerly Lydda), Israel, made a startling discovery: signs of a Roman mosaic pavement were found about three feet below the modern ground surface. A rescue excavation was conducted immediately by the Israel Antiquities Authority, revealing a mosaic floor that measures approximately 50 feet long by 27 feet wide. This large and extraordinarily detailed mosaic floor has only recently been carefully removed from its site and conserved. Found in a large villa believed to belong to a wealthy Roman, the excellently preserved mosaic floor dates to about AD 300.

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