Lion and Stag Mosaic.
Roman (44 BC - AD 400)
The Lion and stag mosaic, excavated at Verulamium, on display at Verulamium Museum.
Mosaics are made from small tiles known as tessera (plural: tesserae), normally made from cut stone, tile or, rarely, glass. They were used to floor important rooms such as dining rooms and bath suites.
The basic floor structure was 'opus signum' (concrete). The tesserae were then pressed into a thin layer of fine mortar which was spread over the concrete. The tesserae were grouted with a fine mortar and the surface of the floor polished with abrasive stone.
Many mosaics of elements within them were prefabricated as panels in the mosaicists' workshop and subsequently incorporated into the overall scheme 'on site'. Mosaics were laid from around AD 150 to 300 and continued to be repaired for a further century.
This may have been prefabricated in a workshop as the lion's tail is crowded by the border. The scorch marks on the mosaic behind the lion were probably caused by a brazier used to heat the room.
Type of original
Artist or photographer
St Albans Museums photographer
Location depicted in image
1)© St Albans Museums