Mosaic Of The Tigers

The original mosaic includes two main panels; at the center, a mounted archer in a hunting scene, this is the piece on display here. The second main panel shows Bellerophon on the winged horse, Pegasus, slaying the Chimera. Numerous other smaller panels showing animals and fish decorated the entire frame of the two main scenes.

Michael Gawlikowski, who discovered the mosaic in 2003, suggests that it is celebrating Odaenathus’ victory over the Persians. The archer (who is wearing the traditional dress of Palmyrene aristocracy) is Odaenathus while the tigers represent the Persians; Odaenathus is about to be crowned with victory by the eagle flying above him.

The inscription conceals an earlier one that read : (Mrn), which is a title used by Odaenathus. The mosaic (detail) is from a house in the north of the Colonnade street.

Here, we have Odenathus as a mounted archer, in traditional Palmyran dress, destroying the Persian tigers; an eagle bears a wreath of victory in its beak.

Bellerophon on the Pegasus, slaying the Chimera

  • Material: Colored stone and mortar

  • Date: 3ed century AD

  • Proximate Dimensions: 110 x 90 cms.

  • Excavated from: Palmyra- Private villa, north of the colonnade street

  • Archaeological Mission: Polish Archaeological mission 2003

  • Archeological Museum Of Palmyra – First Floor. (2011)

Excavation Site Location.


Palmyra’s 3ed Century. Art and lifestyle.

M. Gawlikowski, “Der Neufund eines Mosaiks in Palmyra,” in A. Schmidt-Colinet (ed.) Palmyra: Kulturbegegnung im Grenzbereich (Mainz 2005) 29–31

Photo ref; Credits Syria, land of civilizations (Michel Fortin, Musée de la civilisation (Québec)

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