What just happened?

To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site

 

Collection online

Additional options
Production date to

Or search by

Searching...

The Hinton St Mary Mosaic

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1965,0409.1

  • Title (object)

    • The Hinton St Mary Mosaic
  • Description

    Mosaic; a continuous floor in two large panels, joined by an eleven foot opening; the smaller of the two rooms has three rectangular panels, the centre one depicting Bellerophon mounted on Pegasus spearing the Chimæra, the side panels show hunting scenes; the larger floor has a central roundel surrounded by four lunettes and four quarter-circles, in the centre is a human bust with a chi-rho monogram behind the head, the outer corners depict four male busts, winds or Evangelists, three of the lunettes depict hunting scenes, one shows a tree.

    More 

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 4thC(early)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 28.4 feet
    • Width: 19.6 feet
    • Length: 8.6 millimetres
    • Width: 5.9 metres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        sacred monogram
      • Inscription Position

        central roundel
      • Inscription Language

        Greek
      • Inscription Transliteration

        chi-rho
  • Bibliography

    • MacGregor 2010 44 bibliographic details
    • Neal & Cosh 2005 no. 172.1 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G49/floor

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2011 23 June-9 Oct, London, BM, Treasures of Heaven
    2010-2011, London, BM/BBC, ‘A History of the World in 100 Objects’
    2006 31 Mar-29 Oct, York, Yorkshire Museum, Constantine

  • Science

    See investigations 

    Analysis date

    29 December 1995

    Reason for analysis

    AR

    Analysis title

    Analysis of Coating and Mortar from Hinton St Mary Mosaic Pavement

    Analysis outline

    The Roman mosaic pavement was lifted from Hinton St Mary in Dorset and set into mortarin the floor of the Central Saloon of the British Museum in 1965. Building work for theGreat Court Scheme may necessitate moving the mosaic from its present position. The Stone,Wall paintings and Mosaics Section of the Department of Conservation has investigated theease of moving one corner of the mosaic from the bed of mortar. Analysis of severalapparently different materials from the mortar layer was carried out.The top millimetre of the mortar appear to be consolidated with a translucent, plasticmaterial. A small sample of the consolidated mortar was removed and the mortar physicallyseparated from the consolidant. The thin layer of consolidant retrieved was placed in adiamond cell in a beam condenser in a Fourier transform infra-red spectrometer. Thespectrum (ANAL\HINT1) was a good match for polyvinyl acetate.Several large pieces of mortar were collected from the debris produced by undercutting themosaic and their density measured by water displacement. Knowledge of the density isimportant in order to calculate the weights of various sections of mosaic to enable design ofa suitable backing and lifting method. The density was measured to be approximately2.1 g/cm3.During the investigation, the hardness of different areas of mortar was found to vary. Samples ofthe harder mortar were collected. Some of the mortar was ground to a powder and analysedusing x-ray diffractometry (CONS\HINTON). This indicated the mortar to be a mixture ofcalcite and quartz. This is indicative of a lime/sand mortar. An intact piece of mortar wasmounted in an epoxy block and ground to a flat surface. This was examined in a scanningelectron microscope with energy dispersive analysis of x-rays. The mortar contained largegrains of silica and a few grains of an iron rich material. These were dispersed in a matrixformed predominantly of a calcium silicate type material with a calcium/silicon ratio ofapproximately 3:1. A small amount of aluminium was also detected in the matrix. Calciumsilicate matrices are present in cement.The consolidant material is a polyvinyl acetate and will soften in acetone. The mortar hasa density of 2.1 g/cm3. The hard mortar is a lime/sand base

    Analysis reference number

    AR1995-59

    About these records 

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1965

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number

    1965,0409.1

Mosaic; a continuous floor in two large panels, joined by an eleven inch opening; the smaller of the two rooms has three rectangular panels, the centre one depicting Bellerophon mounted on Pegasus spearing the Chimæra, the side panels show hunting scenes; the larger floor has a central roundel surrounded by four lunettes and four quarter-circles, in the centre is a human bust with a chi-rho monogram behind the head, the outer corners depict four male busts, winds or Evangelists, three of the lunettes depict hunting scenes, one shows a tree.

Mosaic; a continuous floor in two large panels, joined by an eleven inch opening; the smaller of the two rooms has three rectangular panels, the centre one depicting Bellerophon mounted on Pegasus spearing the Chimæra, the side panels show hunting scenes; the larger floor has a central roundel surrounded by four lunettes and four quarter-circles, in the centre is a human bust with a chi-rho monogram behind the head, the outer corners depict four male busts, winds or Evangelists, three of the lunettes depict hunting scenes, one shows a tree.

Image description

Recommend


Feedback

If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: BCB12907

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 

Supporters

Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help  

Loading...