Pictures & images of Roman Palestrina Mosaic or Nile mosaic of Palestrina, Palestrina Archaeological { 26 images } Created 22 Nov 2018

Pictures photos & images of the famous Palestrina Mosaic or Nile mosaic of Palestrina Nilotic landscape exhibited at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Palestrina Prenestino (Palestrina Archaeological Museum), Palestrina, Italy. The highlight of the Palestrina Archaeological Museum, located in the Renaissance Palazzo Barberini, is the Palestrina Nile mosaic. The mosaic is one of the largest and most important surviving Hellenistic mosaics depicting a birds eye view of the entire course of the Nile from Ethiopia to the delta. It measures 5.85 m wide by 4.31 m high ( 19 ft wide x 14 ft high). The mosaic is usually dated between the 2nd an 3rd century BC. The later date is unlikely for stylistic reasons and it is more likely that the mosaic dates from the building of the great hall in the forum of ancient Praeneste. This would date the Nile mosaic around the end of the second century to 82 BC when Sulla captured the city during his second civil war, establishing a military base there. The hall in which the Nile mosaic was the floor was soberly decorated with a podium bearing a doric frieze with an apse or grotto carved into the hillside at its northern end. In this apse the Nile mosaic served as the pavement. It is uncertain what the apse was used for but it is believed that it may have been a cult shrine for Egyptian goddess Isis. This theory is also supported by commercial contracts between ancient Praeneste and Egypt during the 2nd century BC. The sanctuary of the hill of Praeneste was also dedicated to Fortuna Primigenia, who was also identified with Isis. The Nile mosaic of Palestrina can be attributed to Alexandrian artists who were certainly present in Italy during the 2nd century BC. The mosaic depicts the Nile in flood and artificially compresses the length of the river into a series of zig zags. The top part of the mosaic represents Ethiopia and Nubia at the source of the Nile. The river flows down steep slopes between black hunters and African animals. The Nile flows to the bottom right hand corner of the mosaic where the harbour of Alexandria is depicted and right in the bottom right corner is the Island of the Pharos opposite which is a banqueting scene, possibly at Canopus. In the centre of the mosaic is a large Egyptian temple possibly the great sanctuary of Memphis or Karnak.

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