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Mosaic of Date Palm Tree

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

This tree and its unlocated companion panel, part of the decorative mosaics from an ancient synagogue, probably represented the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life, from the Garden of Eden and described in the biblical Book of Genesis. For the Jewish congregation of Hammam Lif it also evoked the city of Jerusalem, a place often represented in art by the date palm, perhaps because dates were a major export crop of the region.
MEDIUM Stone and mortar
  • Place Found: Hammam Lif, Tunisia
  • DATES 6th century C.E.
    PERIOD Roman Period
    DIMENSIONS With Frame: 1 3/8 x 34 5/8 x 74 3/16 in. (3.5 x 87.9 x 188.4 cm) Without Frame: 1 3/8 x 31 x 70 9/16 in. (3.5 x 78.8 x 179.2 cm) Other: 248 lb. (112.5kg)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Museum Collection Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Upright oblong mosaic panel. Large date palm tree fills main portion of panel. At base of tree, two shrubs and major portion of large bird.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Roman. Mosaic of Date Palm Tree, 6th century C.E. Stone and mortar, With Frame: 1 3/8 x 34 5/8 x 74 3/16 in. (3.5 x 87.9 x 188.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Collection Fund, 05.14. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 05.14_overall_PS11.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 05.14_overall_PS11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2022
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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