Materials and technology of mosaics from the House of Charidemos at Halikarnassos (Bodrum, Turkey)

Kaare Lund Rasmussen*, Thomas Delbey, Bjarke Jørgensen, Kasper Høegh Jensen, Birte Poulsen, Poul Pedersen

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


An excavation in 1856 by Charles T. Newton and a re-excavation in 1990–93 by a joint Danish-Turkish team revealed several mosaic floors in a late-antique domus from the fifth century CE, now called the House of Charidemos. Nineteen
tesserae from the floor have been analysed by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, Raman micro-spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray analysis, and X-ray diffraction.
Seven tesserae were made of opaque glass, eleven from various rock/lithic materials, while one of them was a ceramic fragment. This case-study reports the first analyses undertaken of tesserae from late-antique Halikarnassos. The results
show the use of recycled Sb–Mn decoloured glass and two types of red glass. A comparison with tesserae from other sites in Anatolia from the same period shows similarities in the base glass composition, but also some particularities
of the colouring and opacifying agents used for the mosaic of the House of Charidemos. The characterisation of the stone tesserae shows a homogeneity in the choice of the materials of the same colours, but no certain provenance
has been established in the present work mainly due to the lack of comparative materials.
TidsskriftHeritage Science
Sider (fra-til)1-23
Antal sider23
StatusUdgivet - 2022


  • Tesserae, Halikarnassos, House of Charidemos, Chemistry, Production methods