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Roman Mosaics


Roman Mosaic of a vase at Bignor Roman Villa, Sussex
Vase Mosaic at Bignor Roman Villa

As well as being highly decorative; Roman Mosaics offered an easily cleaned bright surface for housekeepers - once the tile had been placed.

Building and laying the mosaic, however, was very dusty work.

Roman Mosaic at Bignor Roman Villa, Sussex
Roman Mosaic at Bignor Roman Villa

Roman mosaic floors were very colourful. Families would enjoy reds and browns which came from sandstone and blacks and blue from purbeck marble.

The lighter colours of cream, white, and pink were made from chalk and limestone. Need a bit of blood? Red glass did a lovely job.

Roman Mosaic of a knot at Bignor Roman Villa, Sussex
Knot Mosaic at Bignor Roman Villa

While scenes depicting events in history were favoured, Roman mosaics would also feature views from nature, or events from everyday life.

A cat chasing a bird, hunting scenes, or incidents which had happened to the family themselves were often depicted.

Roman Mosaic of a dolphin at Bignor Roman Villa, Sussex
Dolphin Mosaic at Bignor Roman Villa

The family who lived in Fishbourne Roman Palace enjoyed mosaics that featured mythological creatures.

"Cupid upon a Dolphin" which you can see there, is a lovely example of the Roman Mosaic art form.

A Roman mosaic from Bignor Roman Villa Sussex England depicting Medusa the snake head Gorgon
Medusa Mosaic

For the ultimate woman from ancient myth, the builders of Bignor Roman Villa depicted a very elegant Medusa.

Article by "Tudor Rose"

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