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Marine Craft in Ancient Mosaics of the LevantEva Grossmann
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This book presents an outline history of ancient sites associated with floor mosaics depicting marine vessels in the widely defined Eastern Mediterranean stretching from southern Turkey to Egypt. A total of 38 individual examples of marine and riverine craft are presented from the study region: three from Turkey, seven from Syria, two from Lebanon, twelve from Israel (10 ancient, 2 modern), ten from Jordan, two from Egypt, and two unprovenanced. The author argues that mosaics did not exist or function in isolation of their historical contexts, but were created by specialists who had inherited a deep-rooted tradition from the Greek world and were commissioned by a range of officials with a long tradition of civic governance spanning the pagan and Christian spheres. Essentially this book is the study of what data may be derived from the techniques of boat construction in mosaic pavements and other artistic media, such as wall paintings and reliefs, and how these techniques were disseminated and understood through the medieval period and into the modern era by a combination of artistic depictions and oral traditions.