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Bill Thayer

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Bits of Roman Pavement

[image ALT: A fragment of Roman mosaic at Rusellae, near Roselle Terme in Tuscany (central Italy); it depicts a marine horse, that is, a horse the body of which ends in a coiling fish's tail.]

No great finds of mosaics have been made at Rusellae that I know of: after its days of relative glory passed with the Etruscan dominion, it was a sleepy little town.

This sea-horse is tucked away in the corner of what might have been a bedroom, or at least is no bigger than one. Most of the centre of the mosaic has crumbled away.

[image ALT: A close-up of a small patch of Roman mosaic clearly showing the little cubes or 'tesserae'.]

Black-and‑white geometric mosaic; probably 1st or 2d century A.D.

[image ALT: A small patch of floor in a geometric design in orange, black and white marble.]

A swatch of simple opus sectile.

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Page updated: 28 Apr 03