Antioch mosaics are a grouping of over 300 mosaic floors created
around the 3rd century AD, and discovered during archaeological
Antioch between 1932 and 1939 by a consortium of five
museums and institutions. About half of the mosaics are housed at the
Hatay Archaeology Museum
Hatay Archaeology Museum in Antakya, with others currently residing at
the Worcester Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Baltimore
Museum of Art,
Harvard University and Princeton University Art Museum
among others. The mosaics range in design from realistic imagery and
scenes, to purely geometric patterns.
3 See also
The Worcester Hunt, located at the Worcester Art Museum, is the
Mosaic in the United States.
Antioch was an ancient city located just outside the modern day city
of Antakya, Turkey. During the reign of Hadrian, during the 2nd
century, through to the reign of
Justinian in the 6th century, mosaic
floors were the fashion in the city and its surrounding suburbs. The
city thrived until it was destroyed by earthquakes in 526 and 528.
Beginning in 1932, a consortium of museums and institutions sponsored
expeditions to the archaeological sites where the city of
stood. These museums, the Worcester Art Museum, Princeton University,
the musée du Louvre, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and Harvard
University's affiliate Dumbarton Oaks, were attempting to uncover
great monuments, palaces, and treasures, but were disappointed when
most of what was unearthed, under tons of silt, was just the remains
of houses, most without any remaining walls. The only surviving part
of the majority of the houses was the floors.
The floors the archaeologists discovered were covered in intricate
mosaics. More than 300 mosaics were found.
In 1939 the expedition ended and the archaeologists packed up to
leave. They left about half of the unearthed mosaics to the city of
Antakya, the modern day city located at Antioch, which subsequently
built a museum, the
Antakya Archaeological Museum, to house them. The
rest of the mosaics were split up amongst the institutions that took
part in the dig, and were sent all over the world. To be
transported, large amounts of concrete was poured behind the mosaics
to create a stable backing. When dividing up the floors, the
archeologists, often took apart rooms and sent different parts of the
floor to different museums. For an exhibit at the Worcester Art Museum
in 2000, mosaics were compiled from Paris, Baltimore, Princeton and
Wellesley, to reassemble a single room's floor. After the
expedition left, the pits were filled back in and olive groves were
planted over them.
Antioch mosaics were created at a time and place between distinct
artistic styles. They show the link between artistic styles of ancient
Greece and Rome, and the art of early Christianity. The mosaics are
incredibly large, with "The Worcester Hunt," the largest Antioch
mosaic in the United States, measuring 20.5 feet (6.26 m) x
23.3 feet (7.11 m). The mosaics range in design from realistic
imagery and scenes, to purely geometric patterns. It is believed
that the mosaics were created by mosaic specialists.
Tessera for the mosaics is both white and colored marble as well
as white and colored limestone.
Realistic scene, The Judgement of Paris Louvre Museum
Realistic Imagery, Bust of Tethys Baltimore Museum of Art
Antakya Archaeological Museum
Mosaic pavement: drinking contest of Herakles and Dionysos, Princeton
University Art Museum
Megalopsychia Hunt of
Worcester Hunt Mosaic
Early Byzantine mosaics in the Middle East
Late Antique and medieval mosaics in Italy
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mosaics from Antioch.
^ a b c Fabrikant, Geraldine.
Mosaic Restoration As Performance Art; A
Public Face-Lift for a 3rd-Century Floor. New York Times. August 29,
2005. Retrieved January 22, 2011
^ a b Collection:
Antioch Mosaics Archived December 12, 2010, at the
Wayback Machine.. Baltimore Museum of Art. Retrieved January 26, 2011
^ a b
Worcester Art Museum
Worcester Art Museum Restores Border Panels to Worcester Hunt,
Mosaic in America. Worcester Art Museum.
Retrieved January 26, 2011
^ a b c d e f Weisgall, Deborah. ART/ARCHITECTURE; Reading a
Civilization Through Its Ancient Shards. New York Times. November 19,
2000. Retrieved January 19, 2011
^ a b Archambeault, Marie Jeanette. Sourcing of
Marble Used in Mosaics
Antioch (Turkey) Archived July 20, 2011, at the Wayback
Machine..University of South Florida,College of Arts and Sciences,
Department of Anthropology. Thesis. April 9, 2004. Retrieved Janua