Deciphering the Lod Mosaic

A short video from the UPenn Museum folks … here’s the tease:

Highway construction in Lod, Israel in 1996 accidently unearthed a large and well-preserved Roman mosaic that probably once decorated a large audience room. The mosaic dates to circa 300 CE and features a kind of arena of ferocious animals, including a lion and lioness, an elephant, a giraffe, a rhinoceros, a tiger, and a wild bull. In this lecture, Dr. C. Brian Rose, Curator-in-Charge, Mediterranean Section, explores why decorative motifs of this kind were held in such high esteem during the Roman Empire. That exploration leads us into the world of gladiatorial games, the wild animal export industry, and mythological charades in ancient Rome.

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