The Roman House at Hopkins | Roman Walls and Floors

A White Fresco Fragment

By Adam Tabeling

Accession Number: JHAM HT505
Measurements: Length: 10.5cm, Width: 9.5cm
Material: Paint, plaster
Culture/Date: Roman, 1st c. CE
Provenance: Unknown

Images of Roman cult and religion often appeared on the painted walls of domestic spaces, and this fresco fragment is a testament of the popularity of such religious motifs. Here, a small shrine – with ornamented columns and a golden garland hanging from its pediment – houses a golden cult statue of a god or goddess, which stands on a tall base. Notice the two torches that lean on the left side of the shrine. Torches were common offerings in sacral-religious landscapes and, here, they may suggest that torchlight was used to illuminate the cult statue.