Skip to comments.Decorative ancient mosaic discovered in Alexandria [Kom El-Dikka]
Posted on 07/21/2019 12:58:07 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
An Egyptian-Polish archaeological mission, including archaeologists from the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology at the University of Warsaw, has uncovered the remains of a vast residential settlement. Inside of one of houses found is a well-preserved mosaic floor.
Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that the discovery of the mosaic floor does not only show the affluence of the residents of those homes, but also to the popularity of mosaic art in Alexandria.
Aymen Ashmawi, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector, explained that the settlement dates between the 4th and 7th centuries AD and includes a small theatre, a grand imperial bath and a unique group of 22 lecture halls apparently the remains of an ancient university.
Grzegorz Majcherek, head of the excavation mission, said that in recent years excavation work concentrated on the study of the still mostly unknown residential architecture of Roman Alexandria between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD. The buildings of that period are known to have often been lavishly decorated, confirmed in the discovery of the mosaic floor.
He added that the main square of the multi-coloured mosaic is composed of six hexagonal panels featuring lotus flowers, framed by a circular guilloche pattern. Lotus buds can also be seen in spandrels.
(Excerpt) Read more at english.ahram.org.eg ...
Wow.. That’s incredible. So much lost to Alexandria, and it’s nice whenever anything at all is found.
And the mosaic floor appears to be in nice shape.
Yes. Hero of Alexandria is credited with the invention of the aeolipile, also known as Hero's Engine. This was a rotating device powered by steam created over an open flame.
It's hard to imagine where we would be today if the power of the steam engine had been harnessed two thousand years earlier than it was.
That is just beautiful-detail, color-all of it perfect. I like to do decorative tile work-for customers and for myself-but I’d be lost attempting to put together a mosaic like that one...
Agreed. The loss, to me, equates to the Spanish destruction of so many Mayan codices and other cultures.
Makes me wonder what spectacular knowledge was lost to history when the vast library there was consumed by fire.
The wet and humid jungles of Central America have caused a lot of destruction to Mayan and Aztec works as well. The climate in Egypt is about as good as it gets for preservation.
What a spectacular mosaic! I marvel at the artistry and craftsmanship.
Mosaics are like ancient, pre-digital, physical pixels.
This is a lost art, in the sense that no one has the time to create these anymore. Artists use pre-fabbed tessarae which never create the ancient handcrafted mosaic appearance.
When Time Team was in production, any Roman dig would elicit cries of where's the mosaics? (slight exaggeration) Centuries of the plough tended to have knocked such floors into their component tessarae.
I know the Library of Alexandria is said to have been burned, but could the destruction have really started with the great Earthquake and tidal wave in 365 AD? The library was not very far above sea level.
the main library was gone long before then, burned accidentally when Rome’s Julius Caesar attacked Egypt in 47 - 48 BC.
I didn’t know that the Romans made it to Virginia.
THEODOTUS (on the steps, with uplifted arms). Horror unspeakable! Woe, alas! Help!
RUFIO. What now?
CAESAR (frowning). Who is slain?
THEODOTUS. Slain! Oh, worse than the death of ten thousand men! Loss irreparable to mankind!
RUFIO. What has happened, man?
THEODOTUS (rushing down the hall between them). The fire has spread from your ships. The first of the seven wonders of the world perishes. The library of Alexandria is in flames.
RUFIO. Psha! (Quite relieved, he goes up to the loggia and watches the preparations of the troops on the beach.)
CAESAR. Is that all?
THEODOTUS (unable to believe his senses). All! Caesar: will you go down to posterity as a barbarous soldier too ignorant to know the value of books?
CAESAR. Theodotus: I am an author myself; and I tell you it is better that the Egyptians should live their lives than dream them away with the help of books.
THEODOTUS (kneeling, with genuine literary emotion: the passion of the pedant). Caesar: once in ten generations of men, the world gains an immortal book.
CAESAR (inflexible). If it did not flatter mankind, the common executioner would burn it.
THEODOTUS. Without history, death would lay you beside your meanest soldier.
CAESAR. Death will do that in any case. I ask no better grave.
THEODOTUS. What is burning there is the memory of mankind.
CAESAR. A shameful memory. Let it burn.
THEODOTUS (wildly). Will you destroy the past?
CAESAR. Ay, and build the future with its ruins. (Theodotus, in despair, strikes himself on the temples with his fists.) But harken, Theodotus, teacher of kings: you who valued Pompeys head no more than a shepherd values an onion, and who now kneel to me, with tears in your old eyes, to plead for a few sheepskins scrawled with errors. I cannot spare you a man or a bucket of water just now; but you shall pass freely out of the palace. Now, away with you to Achillas; and borrow his legions to put out the fire. (He hurries him to the steps.)
POTHINUS (significantly). You understand, Theodotus: I remain a prisoner.
THEODOTUS. A prisoner!
CAESAR. Will you stay to talk whilst the memory of mankind is burning? (Calling through the loggia) Ho there! Pass Theodotus out. (To Theodotus) Away with you.
THEODOTUS (to Pothinus). I must go to save the library. (He hurries out.)
Ditka??? What’s Mike Ditka doing in ancient Egypt?
Yeah, it was the smoking that caused the fall of Rome, lot of people don't even realize.
The Great Library was burned in the 7th century by order of the Caliph when the muzzies conquered Egypt. The drunk has-been Elizabeth Taylor helped stoke the myth. The myth that Caesar burned it is largely modern in origin, and of course absolves the muzzies, which is what it is designed to do. Caesar noted that the fires he had set among the ships of his enemy spread to a warehouse and consumed "some books which chanced to be there" -- the Alexandrian library was also known as The Ships' Library, because the collection came from copying the originals found on board ships at the busy port, returning the copies, and archiving the originals -- and he was himself was holding the citadel, which is where the library was located.
Is that Arabic for Biggus Dickus?..............
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