Two Roman Mosaic Fragments, Roman Imperial Period, ca. 1st century CE
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Two large, uncleaned Roman mosaic fragments, with small areas of red and blue and white tesserae.
Mosaics are exceptionally durable thanks to the materials from which they were made: small pebbles and tesserae (tiles) made of rock, terracotta, and even glass set into waterproof mortar. Like carpets, tiles, and rugs today, mosaics played more than just a utilitarian role in ancient times. As well as being a practical form of floor covering mosaics were often highly decorative and some were clearly intended to "show off" the house-owners wealth and taste.
Condition: Fragmentary as described.
Dimensions: Smaller: 5 1/2 inches (14 cm) x 2 1/2 inches (6.4 cm) x 1 5/8 inches (4.2 cm) ;
Larger 5 3/4 inches (14.2 cm) x 5 1/4 inches (13.4 cm) x 2 3/4 inches (7 cm)
Provenance: Private collection of a Maryland diplomat, acquired in late 1960s.