Nile Mosaic of Palestrina

Illustration

Arienne King
by Yann
published on 09 March 2018

This mosaic was part of the floor of a grotto in Palestrina, near Rome, Italy. It dates to c. 100 BCE and is an example of the interest that Roman artists and elites began to take in Ptolemaic Egypt during the 2nd and 1st Centuries BCE.

It portrays life on the Nile during a flood and its figures include exotic animals, Greek Ptolemaic soldiers, and Aethiopian hunters. The mosaic portrays a variety of landscapes found in ancient Egypt as well as the mixed Egyptian and Hellenistic architectural styles which were prevalent at the time. (National Archaeological Museum of Praeneste, Palestrina, Italy)

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