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Museu Nacional Arqueològic de Tarragona

Roman mosaic

Room devoted to the mosaics of Tarraco and its hinterland.

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.

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