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Les mosaïques romaines et byzantines de syrie du nord.
La collection du musée de Maarrat al-Nu’man
(Inventaire des mosaïques antiques de Syrie [I.M.A.S.], fascicule 3)
(Bibliothèque archéologique et historique 213)
346 pp., num. colour and b/w-figs., 28 x 22 cm, softcover
The book presents a study of the collection of mosaics at Maarrat al-Nu‘man museum located in Northern Syria. This collection gathers a great number of floor mosaics, discovered mainly in villages and sites of both Hama and Idlib provinces. It constitutes indeed a most important documentation about the history of mosaic art in Syria. Those mosaics have been studied in a PhD thesis which the author discussed in 2009 at the Sorbonne university (Paris 1). The subject has been treated in the thesis as a catalogue, however in this book, the mosaics are studied with a different approach focusing on the mosaics in their architectural context. The restitution of the original architectural plan was studied in regards to the ancient documents available, especially the photography of the mosaic and building in situ and the study of the form and the measure of panels. 18 religious buildings were identified, a majority of them are churches, and 3 are public buildings. There are also 11 floor mosaics whose discovery places are certain, but their architectural framework is unknown. In this collection there are two groups of panels for which both the place and the building are not identified. This classification of floor mosaics in the museum has allowed the study of a great number of panels in their original place in the building and of the possible link between the decor and the architectural frame. The study of all the mosaics in the museum indicates therefore their exceptional importance concerning the evolution of mosaic art in Northern Syria, especially in the early Christian era, and testifies their place into the mosaics production in the Middle-East in general, and in Syria in particular.