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Roman mosaic niche

Baie, Italy

AD 50-70




Mosiac floors and decorations were a statement of the wealth and importance of the owner, as many materials such as coloured stones or glass were rare and often expensive. The mosaic consists of a plaster background that has been covered with coloured squares, or tesserae, of glass and other materials including Egyptian blue, marble and other types of stone, bordered with shells. The niche may have held a small statue and the mosaic would have provided an idyllic garden background with three birds coming to land and a colourful peacock already resting at the bottom. The presence of the peacock, an expensive bird and status symbol, indicates that the person who commissioned the mosaic was making a statement about his wealth and position. 

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