The Roman mosaics of Humayma, Jordan.




Klapecki, Derek Vincent

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This thesis documents three polychrome, geometric mosaics that were discovered in the Praetorium of the Trajanic Roman fort at Humayma in southern Jordan. Patterns used in the mosaics are swastika meanders, quatrefoil rosettes and interlocking circles, while colours used are beige, red, and two shades of blue. The mosaics can be confidently dated to the initial construction of the fort, between A.D. 111 and A.D. 114. I document the excavation and present state of the most southern mosaics in Jordan, and place them in their regional and social context. By comparing the patterns employed with other similar mosaics, both geographically and temporally, I shed light on the early development of mosaics in the region. I argue that the Roman military employed local craftsmen to construct the mosaics and that evidence of craftsmen training is visible in details of the mosaics. The social and cultural context of the Humayma mosaics is reconstructed by examining both other local examples, and comparanda from the wider, Mediterranean corpus of mosaics, including sites such as Delos, Olynthus, Antioch, Pompeii, and Ostia. The focus is on the extent of diffusion of the specific motifs employed. Interpretation of the mosaics at Humayma will concentrate on such issues as patronage, craftsman training, and indications of regional wealth.



Roman fort, Artisans, Motifs