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Episode 1006

Mosaics of Delos
Wed, 2020-Feb-05 00:34 UTC
Length - 3:07

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Wednesday, 5 February 2020 is Mosaics of Delos.

The mosaics of Delos are a significant body of ancient Greek mosaic art. Most of the surviving mosaics from Delos, Greece, an island in the Cyclades, date to the last half of the 2nd century BC and early 1st century BC, during the Hellenistic period and beginning of the Roman period of Greece. Hellenistic mosaics were no longer produced after roughly 69 BC, due to warfare with the Kingdom of Pontus and subsequently abrupt decline of the island's population and position as a major trading center. Among Hellenistic Greek archaeological sites, Delos contains one of the highest concentrations of surviving mosaic artworks. Approximately half of all surviving tessellated Greek mosaics from the Hellenistic period come from Delos.

The paved walkways of Delos range from simple pebble or chip-pavement constructions to elaborate mosaic floors composed of tesserae. Most motifs contain simple geometric patterns, while only a handful utilize the opus tessellatum and opus vermiculatum techniques to create lucid, naturalistic, and richly colored scenes and figures. Mosaics have been found in places of worship, public buildings, and private homes, the latter usually containing either an irregular-shaped floor plan or peristyle central courtyard.

Although there are minor traces of Punic-Phoenician and Romano-Italian influence, the Delian mosaics generally conform to the major trends found in Hellenistic art. The same wealthy patrons who commissioned paintings and sculptures at Delos may have also been involved in hiring mosaic artists from abroad. Delian mosaics share characteristics with those in other parts of the Greek world, such as Macedonian mosaics in Pella. They also bear some attributes with Greek painting traditions and often employ a similar black-background technique found in red-figure pottery of the Classical period. Some of the styles and techniques found at Delos are evident in Roman art and mosaics, although contemporary Roman examples from Pompeii, for instance, reveal significant differences in the production and design of mosaics in the western versus eastern Mediterranean.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:34 UTC on Wednesday, 5 February 2020.

For the full current version of the article, see Mosaics of Delos on Wikipedia.

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This has been Geraint. Thank you for listening to featured Wiki of the Day.


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