Lecture by Dorothea Schulz: Colours in the Oasis - Reconstructing the Villa of Serenus
(This event has passed)

Feb 11, 2015 6:00–7:00pm
Organized by: Netherlands-Flemish Institute Cairo (NVIC)
Venue: Netherlands-Flemish Institute Cairo (NVIC)
Address: 1 Mahmoud Azmi Street, Zamalek

This lecture is about the reconstruction of The Villa of Serenus, a lavishly decorated Hellenistic villa in the town of Amheida, Dakhla Oasis. The original town house was excavated in 2004 and 2007 by a team from Columbia University in the City of New York, directed by Roger S. Bagnall. Soon after the excavation it became clear that the well preserved decoration in four of the rooms was extremely fragile and the best way to conserve it for future generations was refilling the house with sand – after extensive documentation.

In order to show the splendor of this building as well as the unique decoration to a broader public the decision was taken to make a full scale reconstruction. The project is financed by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Egypt and facilitated by the NVIC - Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo.

Three of the rooms are mainly decorated with geometrical patterns. In the central room, the largest one, nearly every surface was painted. Here the decoration not only consists of intricate geometrical patterns but lively figural scenes as well. They depict scenes from classical mythology as well as daily life, providing a spectacular picture of the (imaginative) world of a wealthy fourth century family.

Dorothea and her team spent five seasons to study, reconstruct and recreate the amazing decoration.