Paving Ideas, Laying Down Relations in Anatolia: Abstract Personifications in Early Byzantine Mosaic floors

This presentation is based on my upcoming M.A. thesis on the Early Byzantine floor mosaics in secular contexts from Anatolia. Late Antique floor mosaics are primarily studied either as a legacy of the Greco-Roman past or as a medium that assured a transition to wall mosaics during the centuries of Christianization. Besides these areas of inquiry, however, the great extent and spread of mosaic pavements in the Late Antiquity offers a significant potential to explore the concepts of local and regional networks, trade and communication means and movement of visual ideas. For this purpose, my study adopts an interdisciplinary approach capitalizing on the sensorial and spatial perspectives in art history and archaeology. It proposes a new understanding of mosaics based on glocalization concept, developed in sociology and economics, to explore the extent and diversity of the material. For this forum, I will analyze the mosaics with abstract personifications from Sinope and Antioch according to these theoretical frameworks, with a view to contribute to a better understanding of the cultural and social history of the period and the region.

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