Ancient and rare mosaic with hidden message unearthed

A rare floor mosaic spanning 36 feet in length, and over 10 feet wide has been unearthed in the Isle of Cyprus. Dating back to the 4th century, it remained hidden in a village neighboring Cyprus’s capital Nikosia for more than a millennia and a half.

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The mosaic depicts a race between four Roman chariots, each of which is drawn by four horses. Ancient Greek text relays the names of the riders and their horses, which prompted interest from historians as to the nature of the decision to inscribe names.

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Historians theorize the mural correlates to the power struggle between the four competing political factions of the time. Direct criticism towards political figures or factions would have been met with punishment, thus the artist cleverly used the mosaic as a kind-of metaphor to depict the power struggle.

 

 
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