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Concluding remarks, comments, and observations

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Chapter Summary

The mosaic pavement, while an artistic concept, was also perceived as a floor. The early Byzantine mosaicists produced the pavements fully aware of the practical character of the floors, serving primarily as a surface on which the visitors could walk. Significant changes in figure portrayal are notable in the mid-6th century, characterized by the 'Justinian Classicism'. A composition characteristic of some synagogue nave pavements is seen at Beth 'Alpha, Beth She&t;an A, Hammath-Tiberias, Hammath-Gader, Na#aran, and Susiya. The inherent implications of the floor panels were most likely plain to the community members: the Jewish symbols commemorated the Jerusalem Temple; the Zodiac as the calendar was the frame of the annual rites. The church mosaic pavements of the 4th-5th centuries consisted mainly of carpets with floral and geometric designs, which occasionally contained a cross. The two communities, Jewish and Christian, treated the decoration of their edifice floors quite differently.

Keywords:Byzantine mosaicist; church mosaic pavement; Jewish symbol; Justinian Classicism; synagogue nave pavement; zodiac panel

10.1163/ej.9789004167544.i-420.63
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004167544.i-420.63
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