Mosaics in Plovdiv Regional Archaeological Museum

The mosaic with Allen’s gallinule birds – fragment of a mosaic floor from a room incorporated into the “Residence”.

This mosaic was discovered during construction works in 1983 along former “Georgi Dimitrov” Blvd. (today “Tsar Boris III Obedinitel” Blvd.), where it was set in the remains of an impressive residential building. After its recovery and conservation and according to the interpretation of archaeologist Elena Kessiakova, it became known as the mosaic with Allen’s gallinule birds because it depicted waterbirds called Allen’s gallinule (Porphyrio alleni).

Three black and white frames – characterized by interlacing circles, meanders and a meander-like swastika – frame a field of squares in which the birds are placed. Only two of these squares are preserved.

The mosaic’s installation has been dated to the first half of the 3rd century.

Боспачиева, М., В. Коларова Пловдив – град върху градовете Филипопол-Пулпудева-Пълдин (София: ТОЛА, 2014), 273.

Кесякова, Е. „Жилищна сграда „Нарцис“ от Филипопол“ – Годишник на Регионален археологически музей – Пловдив XI (2009), 115–129.

Panel depicting Narcissus – fragment from a floor mosaic from the “Narcissus” building.

During rescue excavations in the course of the construction of apartment buildings in the 1980s on former “Lilyana Dimitrova” Blvd. (today “Maria Luisa”), archaeologist Elena Kessiakova led efforts to uncover a floor mosaic in a partially excavated building (1982).

A frame of large white tesserae encompasses a rectangular space divided into three panels – a central square one and two rectangular panels at its sides. The side panels contain interlacing circles while the center one has an inscribed circle with circulating rows of black and white triangles. These alternating triangles creates the illusion of a spinning motion towards the center of the mosaic. In the central panel is a depiction of a seated man leaning on his left arm and holding a spear in his right. He is interpreted as Narcissus.

The mosaic dates to the first half of the 3rd century.

Боспачиева, М., В. Коларова Пловдив – град върху градовете Филипопол-Пулпудева-Пълдин (София: ТОЛА, 2014), 273.

Кесякова, Е. „Жилищна сграда „Нарцис“ от Филипопол“ – Годишник на Регионален археологически музей – Пловдив XI (2009), 115–129.

Menorah – a seven-branch lampstand – fragment from the first mosaic floor from a Synagogue.

During construction of apartment buildings in the 1980s on former “Lilyana Dimitrova” Blvd. (today “Maria Luisa”), rescue excavations led by archaeologist Elena Kessiakova (1981-1982) uncovered floor mosaics from a synagogue dating to the Roman period. It had two mosaic floors, the first of which had three panels. The center panel held a depiction of a menorah flanked by donor inscriptions, and the side panels were filled with geometric ornaments.

The mosaic from the synagogue’s first construction period dates to the second half of the 3rd to the beginning of the 4th century.

Kessiakova, E., V. Popova, J. Karadačka “Bodenmosaiken der spätantiken Synagoge von Philippoplis/Plovdiv” – In: Pillinger, R., A. Lirsch, V. Popova (eds.) Corpus der spätantiken und frühchristlichen Mosaiken Bulgariens (Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2016), 239–248.

Боспачиева, М., В. Коларова Пловдив – град върху градовете Филипопол-Пулпудева-Пълдин (София: ТОЛА, 2014), 270–272.

Кесякова, Е. „Антична синагога от Филипопол“ – Археология 1 (1989), 20.

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