Marvelous Menagerie – a Roman Mosaic at the Columbus Museum of Art

For fans of archaeology like me, there’s no better place in Columbus this summer than the Columbus Museum of Art. When you visit, you’ll find a 1,700-year-old masterpiece that looks almost as good as the day it was created.

A 300-square-foot colorful mosaic from Lod, Israel, is on display runs through Jan. 13, 2013. The mosaic, made of small bits (tesserae) of stone and glass, depicts a variety of life-like scenes, including sea creatures, predators and prey, and intricate geometric designs and is almost completely intact. Because stone and glass don’t fade over time, the exhibit is a rare example of ancient artwork that looks almost exactly as it was intended.

The Museum has done a great job of tying in other items from its collection that relate to the subjects of the mosaic, including 20th century photography and a 4th century Coptic sea-serpent sculpture. One truly breathtaking part of the exhibit is a remarkably preserved footprint from one of the artist who created the mosaic. It doesn’t photograph well, so you’ll have to visit to check it out!

Marvelous Menagerie - a Roman Mosaic at the Columbus Museum of Art

Marvelous Menagerie - a Roman Mosaic at the Columbus Museum of Art

Marvelous Menagerie - a Roman Mosaic at the Columbus Museum of Art

Marvelous Menagerie - a Roman Mosaic at the Columbus Museum of Art

Marvelous Menagerie - a Roman Mosaic at the Columbus Museum of Art