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Roman "Rock Star" Begins US Tour: The Magnificent Mosaic from Lod

On 29, Sep 2010 | 2 Comments | In Uncategorized | By man-admin

The magnificent mosaic from Lod is now on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  Like many dazzling performers, this mosaic superstar was discovered by accident — in this case during the widening of a road in 1996.  Since then, the Israel Antiquities Authority has done a phenomenal job of excavating, preserving and now presenting the mosaic to the world.
From NYC, the Lod mosaic will travel to San Francisco, Chicago and finally Cincinnati before it returns to Israel for permanent installation in the Shelby White and Leon Levy Lod Mosaic Center which also is responsible for the loan of the mosaic.
This is an unparalleled opportunity for lovers of mosaics and all things ancient Roman in the United States to view one of the largest, most well preserved and exquisite Roman mosaics in the world.  The 23′ x 13′ work is believed to have been the “carpeting” for reception areas in a private household from around 300CE.

It is a truly a remarkable work of art.  The size and geometry of the piece is enough to make one’s head spin.  Then there are those incredibly ferocious animals hunting and capturing each other.  There is not a human in sight in this vivid depiction of a very wild kingdom.

What MAN finds equally exceptional is the amount of readily available online content about the mosaic that has been generated, initially by the Israeli Antiquities Authority, and now the Met itself.  The last time Roman mosaics received this much attention in the US was the Getty’s “Stories in Stone” exhibit of 2006-2007.  Clearly, the Israel Antiquities Authority knew it had a star on its hands when the Lod mosaic was unearthed.

We’re going to connect you with some of these wonderful online resources here.  They are all beautifully done and well worth your time, but there can be no substitute for viewing the real thing.  If you go let us know!  We welcome your comments about your experience with the Lod Mosaic.   It would be wonderful to accumulate a collection of first-person reactions here.  The next scheduled venue is the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, CA — April 23 through July 24, 2011.

Discussion of the Mosaic by Metropolitan Museum of Greek and Roman Art Curator Christopher S. Lightfoot
Lightfoot does an exceptional job of making the mosaic come alive for the reader in this discussion of it as both a work of art and historical artifact.  This is a good read with great photos.  Click here.

Excavation Video:  The excitement and wonder in the faces of the archeologists as they talk about the mosaic in this video is delightful enough.  Then there is also some absolutely fascinating footage of the excavation and preservation processes.   Produced by the Met with assistance from the Israel Antiquities Authority.

For our Facebook “likers”, the link is

The Lod Mosaic Website:  The Authority commissioned renowned museum media designer Rory Matthews to create this interactive website about the mosaic.  Do not miss the “Explore the Mosaic” portion where you can zoom in and move around the mosaic in full screen view.  Marvelous.  Click this link

On Site Excavation Video from 2009
After a brief commercial, you will see see a wonderful interview with archeologist Miriam Avissar, Director of the Excavation at Lod. She provides terrific insights into the people and times that were the context for the floor’s creation.  Video by Yoni Kempinski, captured from

Amazing Large Mosaic Uncovered In Israel

Like we said, if you go, let us know.  Be sure to make a comment here about your experience visiting the Lod Mosaic.To learn more about related activities at the Met, click here.

Enjoy — Nancie

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  1. Joe's blog

    wonderful. Fantastic post.

  2. Mosaicista Appassionata

    This is a wonderful post, the kind of news I love reading! Funny..I have posted this specific mosaic 2 days ago on my blog not knowing of its history and background…here's the link :
    I wish you all the best and thank you again for the kind mention

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