Mosaic pavement with Egyptianizing scene

Period: Mid Imperial, Late Hadrianic or Early Antonine

Date: ca. A.D. 130–150

Culture: Roman

Medium: Stone and glass

Dimensions: 46 1/2 × 46 1/4 in. (118.1 × 117.5 cm)

Classification: Miscellaneous-Mosaic

Credit Line: Gift of Susan Dwight Bliss, 1945

Accession Number: 45.16.2


This mosaic was one of several uncovered in 1892 in a large villa complex. The two figures in the central panel wear Egyptian dress; the man standing on the left has been identified as a priest, making an offering to the seated figure of a deity. Egypt held a special fascination for the Romans as a land of great wealth and antiquity, and its exotic character is often reflected in Roman architecture, statuary, frescoes, and other decorative arts. The imaginary scene depicted on this floor mosaic is one such example of the Egyptian style, whereas the surrounding geometric design is typically Roman.