The Design Of The Antioch Mosaics

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Sponsored by a consortium of several museums and institutions, in 1932 an expedition of the archaeological site of Antioch began. During this 7 year expedition over 300 mosaic floors, now known as the Antioch mosaics, were discovered in the homes of wealthy Roman villas and hailed as one of the most impressive collections of decorative pavements from the Roman Empire due to the number of pieces and high artistic quality. The design of the Antioch mosaics primarily consisted of figural images of mythological and allegorical content with finely executed borders of geometric and foliage design. An ensemble of five figural panels, including the Judgment of Paris, with a surrounding geometric border were discovered in the so-called Atrium house and considered to be one of the greatest finds of the expedition. These panels were found in the triclinium, a Roman dining room in which guest reclined on couches in a U-shaped arrangement. The figural panels were arranged in a T. The crossbar contained three panels, the Drinking Contest in the center with a dancing satyr on the left and a dancing maenad on the right. Located above the Drinking Contest in the vertical shaft was the Judgment of Paris and Aphrodite and Adonis which were in a location that diners could view the mosaics from the couch. A shared border composed of a crest wave in red and white, a meander in black and yellow, and stepped triangles in red and white surround the panels joining them together. A polychrome

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