Photo © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Church aisle mosaic
Byzantine period, 576–578 CE
Stone and glass
H: 130 W: 153 cm
Israel Antiquities Authority
Accession number: IAA 77-416
Mosaic floors were among the most popular forms of artistic expression in churches of the Byzantine Period. However, since they were designed to be walked upon, they were not decorated with sacred figuers and motifs. Instead, they usually bore scenes of daily life that were common in the Hellenistic-Roman artistic tradition. This mosaic shows animals hunting and being hunted, as well as imaginary beasts. The Greek inscription, “the deeds of Alexander,” accompanies the image of a hunter mounted on a horse, who probably represents Alexander the Great.

The Israel Museum, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2005

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir