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Qualunque direttore di grande museo, in Italia e nel mondo, sarebbe felice e orgoglioso di presentare una pubblicazione come questa.
In this sense the catalogue of publications, which are available for sale and in institutional exchange, is also an act of gratitude and appreciation towards my colleagues in the Pope s Museums who have offered, and continue to offer their finest intellectual and professional resources.
The director of any large museum, in Italy or in the rest of the world, would be pleased and proud to present a publication such as this.
The book I introduce in these lines is a catalogue of works published in recent years under the aegis of the Vatican Museums; it documents the scientific and educational activity in which the Museums have been directly engaged, or for which they have enjoyed the collaboration of illustrious scholars from outside the Museums, by the various departments and services which structure and manage the museum collections I have the privilege of superintending and representing.
Witts claims that tessellated pavements, using tesserae, were used in Europe from the late fifth to early fourth centuries BC. Dunbabin concur with this assessment, asserting that the transition from pebble mosaics to more complex tessellated mosaics originated in Hellenistic-Greek Sicily during the 3rd century BC, developed at sites such as Morgantina and Syracuse.
This is contradicted by Ruth Westgate, who contends that the earliest tessellated mosaics of the Hellenistic period date to the 3rd century BC, with the 2nd to early 1st-century BC mosaics of Delos constituting roughly half of the known examples. The earliest known pebble mosaics and use of chip pavement are found at Olynthus in Greece's Chalcidice, dated to the 5th to 4th centuries BC, while other examples can be found at Pella, capital of Macedon, dated to the 4th century BC.
However, the contained far more figured scenes on average, less abstract design, the absence of lead strips, as well as an almost complete lack of complex, three-dimensional scenes utilizing polychromy until the Pompeian Second Style of wall painting (80-20 BC). 300 AD) from Roman Sicily perhaps represent the hallmark of mosaic art in the Late Imperial period.