Magnificent Roman Mosaics Recently Uncovered in Cyprus

Reported last week was the latest of two significant discoveries of Roman mosaics on the island of Cyprus. The most recent of these finds was a fourth-century mosaic that reveals a 85-foot long scene of a chariot race in the Hippodrome. Though it was first partially uncovered in 1938, the extent of the mosaic was not revealed until this most recent excavation. 

This monumental mosaic is considered one of the most detailed depictions of the subject to survive from the ancient world. Moreover, according to Marina Ieronymidou, Director of Cyprus’ Department of Antiquities, this is a particularly unique Roman artifact to find in Cyprus: 

“It is unique in Cyprus since the presence of this mosaic floor in a remote inland area provides important new information on that period in Cyprus and adds to our knowledge of the use of mosaic floors on the island.” 

Earlier in July, another team working near the coastal town of Larnaca discovered a 60-foot mosaic of Hercules enacting his labors. 

Further reading: 

Anthee Carassava, “Revealed: a Roman day at the races,” The Sunday Times (13 August 2016). 

Helen Stoilas, “Ancient Roman mosaics uncovered in Cyprus” (, 10 August 2016). 

Menelaos Hadjicostis, “Scenes of 4th century chariot racing revealed in Cyprus mosaic,” Toronto Star (10 August 2016). 

A fourth-century Roman mosaic floor depicting a chariot race in the Hippodrome, uncovered near Nicosia, Cyprus. Photo: © ΕΛΕΝΗ ΠΑΠΑΔΟΠΟΥΛΟΥ/ΠΑΡΑΘΥΡΟ.

A second-century mosaic showing the labours of Hercules was discovered in Larnaca. Photo: Cyprus Department of Antiquities.

Posted by Alexis Culotta 

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