Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Andrew Morris




figure, ostia, roman, populonia, dunbabin, conservation


Ancient Roman mosaics have much to offer the modern viewer. This thesis takes into account modern archaeology and conservation techniques in studying and classifying these works of art. Since the thesis is focused on comparing the histories of and the mosaics found in the Ancient Roman port cities of Populonia and Ostia, it begins with the historical background of both cities. With close ties to the sea and to various religious cults, both cities held much in common, which can be seen in the mosaics they designed. I then discuss mosaic conservation and classification techniques in chapters two and three. In the fourth and final chapter I concentrate on the mythological and cult representations portrayed in the mosaics in these port cities, in particular those representations associated with the sea. Much of the research for this thesis was conducted at the archaeological and historic sites discussed. In the summer of 2015 I worked on the archaeological site at Poggio del Molino, in Populonia, Italy; thus I have examined most of the mosaics discussed first hand. I first chose the mosaics that I discuss based on those that I visited or worked with in Populonia and Ostia, then later expanded my list to include other related examples from both areas. In addition to the mosaics themselves I used my field journal as a major source in this research. My field journal contains the notes from various talks, lessons, tours, and training sessions that I attended while researching at the site, and was invaluable while writing this thesis. I also used various secondary sources that can be viewed in the bibliography.