Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Stunning mosaic from Roman home was designed to impress guests

In 1996, while widening a road in the 3,000-year-old city of Lod, Israel, a crew of construction workers uncovered a small, egg-shaped patch of mosaic tiles. Archaeologists were called to the site and eventually unearthed a massive treasure dating from the Roman Empire.

The exceptionally artful and well-preserved mosaic of animal and marine life — composed of 2 m illion tiles and almost 300 square feet — once adorned the floor of a meeting space in a private home circa A.D. 300, historians think.

Money was raised for its excavation and restoration, and, in 2009, the mosaic was carefully removed from its resting place and began a limited world tour under the banner "Marvelous Menagerie."It now fills a gallery at the Columbus Museum of Art, one of only five U.S. venues to host the ornate artifact.

"I think the amazing thing about this exhibit is that it came from 6,000 miles away and 1,700 years in the past," the museum's adjunct curator, Carole Genshaft, said during a preview of the show.

Via http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/life_and_entertainment/2012/05/27/it-will-floor-you.html