Недавно (лет 50 назад) копали что-то в Стамбуле и нашли мозаики Императорского дворца. Частично. Сам дворец не сохранился - только кое где некоторые развилины. Долгое время они лежали без реставрации - вроде насколько я понял , дело было в том что до них никому не было дела. Недавно , когда уже совсем нависла угроза полной утраты их стали реставрировать - теперь сделали музей, который находится, к слову, посередине антикварного-сувенирного рынка. То есть ряды лавок-павильонов (как в переходе метро кое-где у нас) и одна из дверей ведет туда.
Между прочим, душит хоботом
Далее текст из поясняющих надписей на английском.
The Great Palace Mosaic
Nowhere else in antiqutty can we find a tessellted floor of quite the size and quality of the Great Palace Mosaic in Istanbul. This unique masterpiece also provides us with the single reference that we have of the furnishings of the Imperial Palace of Constantinople. At the time of its making, the mosaicist craft, rooted in Anatolia and artistically perfected in Greece and Italy, could draw on a long-established tradition. The best artists from all corners of the Empire were employed to lay this splendidly ornamented floor. With no comparable works available, it is, however, difficult to interpret and date the mosaic solely on the basis of typological and stylistic criteria.
The mosaic floor was made up of three layers: the bottom stratum consisted of a thick (0.30 to 0.50 metres) bed of packed quarrystone (statumen), covered by a mortar screed of 9 cm in thickness topped by a compacted insulating layer of loam, soil and charcoal and a hard screed layer containing a high rate of stone chips (rudus), which in turn supported the embedding mortar and tesserae (nucleus) The pavement required 75 to 80 million many-coloured lime, terracotta and glass cubes (some 40,000 cubes per square metre) of some 5 mm in average edge length. Due to destruction and numerous conversions since the days of Justinian I, only some 250 square metres of the floor survived in the south-western, north-western and north-eastern halls of the peristylar court, about one seventh or one eighth of the original expanse. In spite of its fragmented state, the unearthed parts of the mosaic suffice to give us an impression of the splendour common in early Byzantine palaces. The continuous section of the north-eastern hall in particular, which was returned in situ after its successful restoration, provides an excellent view of the technical, artistic and iconographical details of the tessellated pavement.
Description of the Mosaic
The main panel of the surviving 170 to 180 square metres of ornamental pavement has a depth of 6 metres and consists of a vibrantly coloured gallery of scenes arranged in four strips of friezes. On either side of its edge
it is accompanied by an exquisitely arranged border of foliage, each 1.50 metres wide. A highly naturalistic acanthus scroll appears to have been regularly interspersed by larger-than-life masked heads. There are leitmotiv-like references to nature and scenery, to the world of Dionysos. On both sides of the luxuriantly swirling acanthus, filled with exotic fruits and animals, runs a multi-coloured scroll almost three-dimensional in effect, with delicate geometric borders. The populated scenery was to be viewed from the courtyard side of the peristyle. The scenes are not limited to a single row, but will occasionally stray into a neighbouring row, e.g. trees that form part of the story of a scene. The scenes show a movement from left to right in the north-eastern and south-western hall, i.e. pointing towards the Palace Aula in the south-east. The pictures describe the animal kingdom, hunting and playing, bucolic scenes, landscapes and legends. On the surviving parts of the mosaic we still count 150 human and animal figures. No inscriptions have been found so that it can be assumed that past viewers understood the images
explanations. The surviving repertoire of scenes may be grouped by their contents: hunting scenes, with tigers, lions, leopards, gazelles, boars, hares. huntsmen armed with the sword or spear, on foot or on horseback; scenes of fighting animals, e.g. eagte and snake, stag and snake, elephant and lion; wild beasts and groups of grazing animals as a reference to the animal kingdom; including bears
at a pomegranate tree, a monkey catching birds, a group of mountain goats, cattle and horses; bucolic scenes: an ancient herdsman, a shepherd, goose-girls and boys, a fisherman, a breast-feeding mother and the goat milker;
scenes of rural life, such as labourers in the field, water mills and well houses; inbetween groups of children playing the trochus (hoop) game
popular in antiquity, riding dromedaries or tending their pets; mythological scenes: the child Dionysos riding on Pan's shoulders, or the mythical huntsman Bellerophon fighting against the Chimaera; fabulous exotic creatures, which constitute a special feature of the Palace Mosaic, among them lion griffins, a tigress griffin and an okapi-headed leopard griffin; scenes alluding to animal fables.