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The Early Christian church

Peacock mosaic
Wall mosaic

This is a fragment of the mosaic decoration of the St Demetrios basilica, much of which was destroyed during the 1917 fire. Made of glass and gold cubes (tesserae), it was part of a decorative panel representing two peacocks, only one of which is preserved, with multi-coloured feathers flanking a fountain. This was a popular symbolic theme in Early Christian mosaic decoration, since both the peacock and the water symbolized eternal life. This graceful, naturalistic scene recalls Hellenistic prototypes, like many other early mosaics in the churches of Thessaloniki.

Exhibit Features
Date: Early Byzantine period, 5th - 6th century AC
Place of discovery: Thessaloniki, Church of Agios Demetrios
Dimensions: width: 0,82 m, height: 1,05 m
Material: Gold, glass
Inventory number: 27
Copyright: Hellenic Ministry of Culture