New Mosaics from Ptolemais in Libya
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In December 2001, a Polish archaeological expedition from Warsaw University opened excavations at Ptolemais in the Cyrenaica. In the four field seasons (2001-2004) completed so far, the team has explored the central part of a richly decorated Roman villa, nicknamed Villa with a View. The main architectural stage of this complex and the relevant mural and mosaic floor decoration can be dated to Late Antonine and Severan times. Of the ten mosaic floors discovered so far, the eight published in this article have been excavated completely or in part, protected and documented. One uncovered in 2004 requires another season of work in the field before it can be studied. The tenth mosaic, illustrating an Achillean theme, will be discussed in a separate publication. For the most part, the floors are of an ornamental nature. Two contain mosaic inscriptions giving the name of the villa's owner. On one there is a figural panneau depicting a winged female figure. The most interesting, and excellently preserved, is a mosaic floor, presumably from a triclinium, with a multi-figural scene presenting a Dionysiac thiasos.
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