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Museu Nacional Arqueològic de Tarragona

Roman mosaic

<p>Room devoted to the mosaics of Tarraco and its hinterland.</p>

Room devoted to the mosaics of Tarraco and its hinterland.

Alongside construction of the large-scale public buildings represented in the previous room, a considerable number of urban villas was also built. The mosaics exhibited in this room constituted the flooring of some of these houses, mostly from the area known as La Pedrera del Port and from the Roman villa of Parets-Delgades, in La Selva del Camp.

The famous Medusa mosaic (2nd -2rd centuries AD) is remarkable for its quality and delicacy, and was unearthed in 1845 at La Pedrera del Port de Tarragona. Made of marble tesserae, limestone, pasta vitream and sigillate ceramics, it presents a wide range of colours thanks to the the generally small dimensions of  tesserae (opus vermiculatum). The mosaic features up to 24 different colours.

Equally remarkable arethe mosaics decorated with geometric and plant motifs from the Roman villa of Parets-Delgades (4th century), made probably at an atelier or by a craftsman from Carthage or thereabouts. The craftsman’s presence in Parets-Delgades would be explained by the itinerant nature of his trade: they travelled –as in this case-- to wherever rich villa owners called for their services.


<p>Detail of the central emblem of the Medusa mosaic, 2nd-3rd centuries AD,&nbsp;<em>opus vermiculatum</em>, 1.92 &times; 4.67 m (emblem,&nbsp;<strong><span style="font-weight: 400;">57,7 &times; 57 cm)</span></strong></p>
Mosaic of Medusa
Mosaic of Medusa
<p>Fragment of flooring with an inscription of welcome, 1st century BC - 1st century AD,&nbsp;<em>opus signinum</em>&nbsp;and inscription in tesserae,&nbsp;39 &times; 107 cm</p>
Mosaic with an inscription of...
Mosaic with an inscription of welcome
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