Tag Archives: palace
The Roman Emperor Theodosius II was a prolific builder, and his fingerprints are all over modern Istanbul. This in spite of the fact that he was emperor some 1600 years ago. If you are a Byzantine buff, you probably know all about Theodosius II, who reigned when the empire was split between eastern and western […]
Topkapı is the site of many religious relics, of which maybe one or two are even plausible fakes. They have the staff of Moses, the sword of David, and my personal favorite, the saucepan of Abraham. (Four thousand years old! Have they ever seen artifacts that are four thousand years old? I have. They look like potsherds. Largely because they’re potsherds.)
The museum itself is small, including floor mosaics of about 250 square meters, or about 2700 square feet. But archaeologists estimate that only one-seventh to one-eighth of the floor remains. To put that into perspective, we are talking about nearly half an acre of mosaic flooring. That’s something like an area from the 50 yard line to the goal line on an American football field. Archaeologists have suggested that it may have taken 80 million tesserae, the small, square tiles of limestone, glass, and ceramic that make up the mosaics.