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Identification and Creation
Object Number
1939.147
Title
Fragment of a Mosaic Pavement with Maenad, from the Constantinian Villa at Daphne-Harbie
Classification
Mosaics
Work Type
mosaic
Date
325-350 CE
Places
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Asia, Antioch (Syria)
Period
Roman Imperial period, Late
Culture
Roman
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/291530
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Stone and glass tesserae mosaic
Dimensions
H. 68.6 cm h x W. 94 cm w (27 x 37 in.)
Provenance
Excavated from Constantinian Villa (Turkey, Hatay) by the Syrian Department of Antiquities (later the Hatay government) and the Committee for the Excavation of Antioch and Its Vicinity, (1935-1939), dispersed; to Fogg Art Museum, 1939.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of the Committee for the Excavation of Antioch and its Vicinity
Accession Year
1939
Object Number
1939.147
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
This fragmentary mosaic panel likely represents a maenad. The remaining portion of the pavement depicts a female head, tilted to the right, with hair in shades of brown. The figure carries or wears a bundle of flowers in shades of deep purple and pink stone tesserae. Traces of green glass tesserae frame the bouquet. The figure is surrounded by a pointed frame, which when complete would have formed an elliptical shape.
Commentary
This panel comes from the so-called Constantinian Villa (1) located in the city of Antioch in ancient Syria (modern-dayTurkey). The fragment comes from a large pavement in room 1 of the villa with Dionysiac-themed mosaics. This is one of several medallions representing Dionysiac themes including Dionysus, a satyr, and Silenus figure (2). The best preserved of the medallions represents a dancing satyr (Baltimore Museum of Fine Arts, 1938.711).

This panel was distributed to the Fogg Art Museum as part of the division of finds for the 1935 excavation season directed by the Committee for the Excavation of Antioch and its Vicinity. The fragment is stored in its original shipping crate. The right half of the panel was cleaned and conserved, while the left half remains in its original condition.

For film footage, shot at the excavations at Antioch in 1935, that shows the process of lifting a mosaic from its original context, see the digital collection available online through the Princeton University Department of Art and Archaeology's Visual Resources Collection: http://vrc.princeton.edu/researchphotographs/s/antioch/page/Antioch-films

Notes:
1. The Constantinian Villa is best known for a very large mosaic pavement with a hunting scene, now in Paris (Louvre).

2. On the villa and its mosaics consult Doro Levi, Antioch Mosaic Pavements (Princeton University Press, 1947), p. 226, pl. LVIIIf; R. Stillwell and G. Elderkin, Antioch-on-the-Orontes II (Princeton: Committee for the Excavation of Antioch and its Vicinity,1934), p. 200, pl. 68.2.
Publication History

Richard Stillwell, ed., Antioch-on-the-Orontes Il: The Excavations of 1933-1936, Princeton University Press (Princeton University Press, 1938), p. 200, pl. 68, no. 87, panel Z

Doro Levi, Antioch Mosaic Pavements, Princeton University Press (Princeton, 1947), pl. LVIIIf

Doro Levi, Antioch Mosaic Pavements, Princeton University Press (Princeton, 1947), p. 226

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu