Late Roman building B, B1-B3 with sondages, looking down to south

Late Roman building B, B1-B3 with sondages, looking down to south
Image capture by Edwin Brock
Date Created:
May 15, 1998
Villa of the Birds Mosaic Conservation
Existing conditions before conservation
Late Roman Buildings
Alexandria, Egypt and Al Iskandarīyah
Time Period:
Byzantine Period
Ruins, Extinct cities, and Domestic architecture
black-and-white photographs
Conservation Note:
Rodziewicz believed that Building B was the latest structure to be found in all of the domestic quarter then excavated. It was constructed in the second half of the 6th century AD and did not go out of use before the middle of the 7th century. The rectangular layout included four rooms of a similar size set in a row. Three small units (b1-b4) were added on to the front elevation in the 7th century. The structure appears to have served some domestic purposes, either as stores or workshops. The walls survived relatively high only in the eastern part. The remaining walls, especially the western elevation and the partition walls preserved only the bottom parts. The foundations of most of these walls., made of loose small stones, furnace refuse, and brick debris, were rather shallow, reaching no more than 0.80-1.00 m below the occupational levels, that is, ca. 0.50-0.60 m above the mosaic floors found underneath. Some sections of the walls of the building B were reconstructed in the seventies. The need to uncover surviving mosaics of the house alpha, as well as overall plan of the mosaic exhibition required the removal of both some of these low-surviving Late Roman walls and fragments reconstructed in the seventies (Final Report).
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Project History:
At the heart of modern Alexandria in Kom el-Dikka lies an exceptional demonstration of Domestic architecture during the Roman Imperial period. The Early Roman villa named “Villa of the Birds” houses exceptionally well preserved mosaic floors, made of tesserae. True to its name, it contains Mosaic a-5 which depicts different bird species within seven different panels. Under the auspices of the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE), Dr. Wojciech Kolataj and his team conserved the mosaic floors, constructed a shelter, and landscaped the surrounding area. Some related supplemental work was carried out by the Polish-Egyptian Preservation Mission, and sponsored jointly by the Supreme Council of Antiquities (currently the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities) and the Polish Center of Archaeology. Conservation work was made possible with the support of the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (formerly the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities).
Funding Agency:
Villa of the Birds Mosaic Conservation project was made possible with funding by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Grant No. 263-G-00-93-00089-00 (formerly 263-0000-G-00-3089-00) and administered by the Egyptian Antiquities Project (EAP) of the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE).