Mosaics from the Late antique building “Eirene”
The late antique building “Eirene” and parts of two Roman streets with a crossroads were discovered by archaeologists Zdravko Karov and Mina Bospachieva (1983-1984) when the old “Georgi Dimitrov” Blvd. (today “Tsar Boris III Obedinitel” Blvd.) underwent renovations. The entrance to the “Eirene” building stands out structurally and precedes a vestibule that leads to the southern portico of an open courtyard. The portico connects the more formal part of the house with the residential area as well as the courtyard with its surrounding spaces – the banquet hall (triclinium) and the room in which the owner received visitors (the reception room or tablinum). An apse was added to the tablinum in a later period to increase its reception space. The floors of all the “Eirene” building’s rooms are covered with polychrome mosaics depicting various geometric shapes and figures. Initially, the mosaics were placed only in the southern portico and banquet hall, where an impressive mosaic depicting a woman with an ancient Greek inscription was found. The inscriptions reads “EIPHNH” and so identifies the woman as Eirene, the Greek goddess of peace). The rest of the rooms had a lime-mortar floor (opus signinum). Later mosaics were placed in the vestibule, the eastern portico (on top of the marble slab pavement), the room to the north, and the reception room and its apse.
The mosaics form the first construction period (those in the banquet hall and southern portico) date from the second half of the 4th century and the later ones from the end of the 4th to the beginning of the 5th century CE.
After excavations of the “Eirene” building and its surroundings ended, all the archaeological structures in this area were conserved in situ. During these activities, the impressive formal parts of the domus “Eirene” were separated into an exhibition hall to best preserve and showcase the finds.
Some of the conserved mosaics deteriorated through the years and so underwent a second conservation effort under a Bulgarian-American team lead by Elena Kantareva-Decheva (2003-2004). Today the restored mosaics can be seen in situ at the Trakart Cultural Center.
Popova, V. “Bodenmosaiken aus dem sog. Haus der Eirene” – In: Pillinger, R., A. Lirsch, V. Popova (eds.) Corpus der spätantiken und frühchristlichen Mosaiken Bulgariens (Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2016), 174–198.
Боспачиева, М., В. Коларова Пловдив – град върху градовете Филипопол-Пулпудева-Пълдин (София: ТОЛА, 2014), 198–232.
Bospachieva, M. “The Late Antiquity Building EIPHNH with Mosaics from Philipopolis (Plovdiv, Southern Bulgaria)” – Archaeologia Bulgarica VII, 2 (2003), 83–105.
Trakart Cultural Center, the Late Antique building “Eirene”, Plovdiv.
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Late Antique building “Еirene“
Mosaic floor form the first construction period
(second half of the 4th century)
Mosaic floor from second construction period
(end of the 4th – beginning of the 5th century)