So how did you get on with the ancient mosaic quiz, 2015? Did you find all the answers? Did you rattle them off, scratch your head, or scour the internet? Some were easy, some a little more challenging – I wanted to really push those ancient mosaic brain cells to their limit! So now let’s see how well you did…Here are the ancient mosaic quiz questions in italics and the mosaic quiz answers highlighted in bold:
- What is this?
- a) a precusor of Galla Placidia’s Mausoleum in Ravenna?
- b) a detail of a leprosy victim?
- c) A leopard’s spots?
c) A leopards’s spots.
2. Big bushy beard, droopy eyebrows and a resigned expression after wearing a synthetic fibre costume for too long in the toy department; looks like Father Christmas, but is really which ancient god?
The god with the bushy beard is Oceanus, the River God.
3. How many ancient versions are there of the Unswept Floor Mosaic?
The answer is: four. They can be found at a) The Vatican Museum, Rome b) Aquileia, Italy c) Chateau de Boudry, Switzerland d) The Bardo Museum, Tunisia.
4. Where would you find a rare Roman mosaic depiction of a giraffe?
The depiction of a giraffe can be seen in the Lod Mosaic, Israel.
5. Which series of ancient mosaics were saved at the last minute before flood waters engulfed them?
The Zeugma Mosaics were threatened by a dam across the Euphrates and are now housed in Gazientep, Turkey.
6. Name these three common mosaic patterns:
a) Tumbling blocks
b) Double strand guilloche
7. The mosaic panel below belongs to a series from Qasr Libya which also includes an image of one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Which one?
One of the seven wonders of the ancient world shown in the Qasr Libya series is the lighthouse of Alexandria.
8. Where would you find the woman referred to as the Mona Lisa of ancient mosaics?
The ‘Mona Lisa’ of Galilee (below) is part of a 4th century Roman mosaic floor is found in Sepphoris in the central Galilee region of modern day Israel.
9. Here’s a horse wearing a stripey jumper. Where would you see a real ancient mosaic zebra being led by a black man?
The real zebra being led by a black man is from Shanliurfa (ancient Edessa) in Eastern Turkey.
10. Ships, grain merchants and possibly a man with a toothache – what do they have in common?
Mosaics of all these things including a man pointing into his open mouth can be found at the ancient port of Ostia Antica.
11. Not ketchup and not mayonnaise. What popular sauce is depicted in mosaic form in Pompeii?
The sauce is garum, a fermented fish sauce.
12.An estimated 80 million pieces covering 250 square metres make up which imperial palace?
The Great Palace of Constantinople built in the time of the Emperor Justinian I in what is now Istanbul’s Great Palace Mosaic Museum.
13. A cold bottom and a cool kiss. Which ancient mosaic does this refer to?
This refers to the mosaic of Aeneas and Dido at the Low Ham Roman Villa, Somerset, UK.
14. A resplendently naked Alexander the Great is rendered in pebbles in Pella, Greece, astride which wild beast a) a leopard b) a lion c) a cheetah?
Alexander the Great is riding a cheetah.
15. There are lots of ancient mosaics of hunting dogs but where would you see one incorporated in an agricultural scene?
The dog in an agricultural scene is this one in the Bardo Museum, Tunisia, looking on as it’s master works in the fields.
16. The Romans were keen on killing wild animals. Lions, tigers, boar, hare and bears are all commonly depicted in ancient mosaics but where would you see a pride of ostriches in the arena?
The mosaic of ostriches in the arena can be seen in the Bardo Museum, Tunisia.
17. An unlikely pairing. A man believed to be Alexander the Great meets whom on the floor of an Israeli synagogue?
Alexander the Great meets the Jewish High Priest of Jerusalem in the 5th century synagogue mosaic in Huqoq, Israel.
18. It’s well known that one wouldn’t want to cross the Gods, but which mosaic diety is already cross eyed?
The cross eyed diety is the 2nd century Genius of the Year, National Archeological Museum, Madrid.
19.Which ancient city which was once thought to be the centre of the world is shown in Jordan’s map of Madaba?
The ancient city depicted in the map of Madaba is Jerusalem.
20. Close ups. Can you identify these famous ancient mosaics from these details?
The close ups are of: a) Frog on a lily pad, Nilotic mosaic, Naples Archeological Museum, italy.
b) The large fish in the Lod mosaic, Israel.
c) The God Pan, Palazzo Massimo Museum, Rome, Italy.
And the bonus question…
FIND and identify an ancient mosaic which features a bird (perhaps even a partridge) next to (but not in) a pear tree.
Did you find it? This is the mosaic but however hard I hunt I cant seem to find where it’s from. Please help!
Coming soon: The Use of Glass in Ancient Mosaics