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Title / Description: Jerusalem (Herodian Quarter): floor mosaicCommentary: The mosaic, found in area F of the Herodian Quarter excavations, is typical of "Herodian" decoration which avoided human or animal figures and preferred a delicate mix of meandering lines, rosettes, plated bands, wavy lines and occasional floral motives. Other examples of such mosaics are known from e.g. Masada. Similar geometric patterns can be seen on ossuaries and decorated stone tables and may also have been employed on wall or floor carpets. The strict avoidance of figurative art is a peculiar feature of late Second Temple Jewish art and can be understood both as a reflex of the Second Commandment and also of a preference of geometrical patterns in contemporary Roman mosaic art during the late 1st c. BCE and early 1 st c. CE (later Jewish art does display human and animal figures!).You may also see an example of this kind of geometric art from the palace at Masada.
Object Location: Wohl Archaeological Museum, Jerusalem (Israel)
Provenance: Jerusalem, Israel
Object Type: image - mosaic
Date: Late 1st c. BCE - 70 CE
Author of Commentary: Jurgen Zangenberg
Source: Zangenberg, Jurgen Jurgen Zangenberg Slide Collection
Reference: Jerusalem (Herodian Quarter): Floor Mosaic