20 Ancient Mosaic Quiz Questions for Christmas 2015

Ancient Mosaic Quiz

  1. 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?

IMG_16542. 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 Roman god?

Father Christmas, el Jem museum, destoop

3. How many ancient versions are there of the Unswept Floor Mosaic?


4. Where would you find a rare Roman mosaic depiction of a giraffe?

5. Which series of ancient mosaics were saved at the last minute before flood waters engulfed them?

ancient mosaic quiz
Mosaic underwater but not the one in question. Atalanti, Greece. Photo: Helen Miles Mosaics

6. Name these three common mosaic patterns.

ancient mosaic quiz
Palazzo Massimo Museum, Rome. Photo: Helen Miles Mosaics
roman mosaic quiz
Lod mosaic border detail. Photo: Helen Miles Mosaics
ancient mosaic quiz
Lod mosaic border detail. Photo: Helen Miles Mosaics.

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?

qasr libya leopard julianna lees, flickr
Qasr Libya Leopard. Photo: Julianna Lees, Flickr.

8. Where would you find the woman referred to as the Mona Lisa of ancient mosaics?

9. Here’s a horse wearing a stripey jumper. Where would you see a real ancient mosaic zebra being led by a black man?

ancient mosaic quiz
Is it a zebra or a horse wearing a stripey jumper? Delphi, Greece. Photo: Helen Miles Mosaics

10. Ships, grain merchants and possibly a man with a toothache – what do they have in common?

11. Not ketchup and not mayonnaise. What popular sauce is depicted in mosaic form in Pompeii?

12. An estimated 80 million pieces covering 250 square metres make up which imperial palace?

Counting the tesserae. Photo: Helen Miles Mosaics.

13. A cold bottom and a cool kiss. Which ancient mosaic does this refer to?

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?

ancient mosaic quiz
Hunting scene, Pella, Greece. Photo: Helen Miles Mosaics

15. There are lots of ancient mosaics of hunting dogs but where would you see one incorporated into an agricultural scene?

ancient mosaic quiz
Dog, Delphi, Greece. Photo: Helen Miles Mosaics

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?

ancient mosaic quiz
Tiger hunt, Grand Palace Mosaic Museum, Istanbul. Photo: Helen Miles Mosaics.

17. An unlikely pairing. A man believed to be Alexander the Great meets whom on the floor of an Israeli synagogue?

18. It’s well known that one wouldn’t want to cross the Gods, but which mosaic God is already cross eyed?

ancient mosaic quiz
Not this one! Gorgon, Athens Archeological Museum, Greece. Photo: Helen Miles Mosaics.

19.Which ancient city which was once thought to be the centre of the world is shown in Jordan’s map of Madaba?

20. Close ups. Can you identify these famous ancient mosaics from these details?

roman mosaic quiz
Photo: Helen Miles Mosaics
roman mosaic quiz
Photo: Helen Miles Mosaics
ancient mosaic quiz
Photo: Helen Miles Mosaics

*Bonus point to finish the mosaic quiz*

Here’s a pear without a tree. FIND and identify an ancient mosaic which features a bird (perhaps even a partridge) next to (but not in) a pear tree but dont expect an answer!

ancient mosaic quiz
Pear border detail, Heraclea Lyncestis, Macedonia. Photo: Helen Miles Mosaics

Answers to the Ancient Mosaic Quiz 2015 will be published on Thursday, December 31. 

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