The swastika mosaic

Visitors can walk on this immense 86-square-meter mosaic to get a good look at how it is made.
Approximately one million tiny cubes make up this pavement, which is decorated with geometric motifs, including swastikas. This motif with an Indo-European origin was used widely in the Greco-Roman world and represents a wheel that turns, symbolizing eternal life. It is also a beneficial good luck sign.

Locate in the museum

Marble (opus tessellatum), limestone (opus tessellatum)
L. 11.8 m; W. 7.41 m

Third century

Europe / France / Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes / Rhône department / Lyon / Lyon 5th arrondissement / Clos du Verbe Incarné

Follow the guide

History of the work

Found in 1911 just a few hundred meters from the museum, the swastika mosaic decorated the floor of a reception room in a vast home built on the top of the hill near a large temple.

Other mosaics to see in the museum:

➢ The fish mosaic combines a marine border with animals and sea monsters and an ornamental center with geometric motifs and a rosette in the middle.
➢ The fight between Cupid and Pan: Cupid and Pan struggle, while Silenus referees, holding a palm leaf. This duel opposes carnal lust, personified by Pan, and divine love, represented by Cupid.
➢ The drunkenness of Hercules : Nude and inebriated, Hercules is held up by members of the suite of Dionysus (Bacchus to the Romans). Doesn't this scene make you think of the Triumph of Bacchus sarcophagus, another not-to-miss work in the museum ?