Friday, January 15, 2016

Ancient Dog Shaming

photograph: Cleopatra of Egypt: From History to Myth
Princeton University Press (2001)

This mosaic floor dated 200-100 BC depicts a dog and a knocked-over gold vessel was discovered in 1993 during construction of the new Alexandria Library, Egypt. Many of the tesserae (the pieces of stone/glass that make up the floor) are only 1-2mm across, which allows the mosaicist to achieve a painting-like effect. This technique was known in antiquity as opus vermiculatum, or ‘wormy work’.  It is currently housed in the Greco-Roman Museum in Alexandria.

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