Roman-era Mosaic with Mythological Scenes Revealed in al-Rastan, Syria


Brightly colored and detailed Floor Mosaic depicting Greeks fighting Amazons
Floor Mosaic depicting Greeks fighting Amazons, recently uncovered at al-Rastan, Syria. Photo: Nabu Museum

Syrian archaeologists with the support of the Nabu Museum in Lebanon have uncovered part of a large floor mosaic depicting mythological scenes dated to the period of the Roman Empire in the city of al-Rastan, near Homs. They describe the mosaic the important discovery since before the civil war.


The archaeologists estimate that the complete floor measures 120 square meters, probably belonging to a public building. The mosaic has only partially exposed but the preservation is excellent. Two sections have been uncovered, each featuring central figural scene, surrounded by a wide greek key motif, with further geometric motifs along the wide border. The floor has been dated to the around the 4th century C.E.



Once scene feature a vignette of two pairs: Herakles lounging next to the defeated Amazon warrior Hippolyta, and Achilles lounging next to the defeated Penthesilea. Hippolyta and Penthesilea were daughters of Areas and the Amazon queen Otrera. Surrounding the vignette are various famous warriors from Greek mythology attacking Amazons. The other section features a central scene of the sea god Neptune, surrounded by sea nymphs.


Dr Humam Saad, director of the excavation team, talks about the discovery here: