Decorated tiles were excavated by the Yale University Expedition to Dura Europos, Syria. Photographs from the archive of the Yale Art Museum.

- 115 decorated tiles were excavated from the House of the Scribes in Block L7 at Dura Europos


Modern digital image and black-and-white photograph taken in the field at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists of a painted tile with a Greek inscription. Rostovtzeff (1936: 291; 1938:Plate XV.I) translated the inscription as "Heliodoros, the Actuarius." The name means "gift of the sun" and his title, Actuarius, is that of an official in the Roman army responsible for wages and provisions. He holds a pen and ink box in his left hand; the cylindrical closed tube would have held a pen and the shorter closed box held a container for the ink. "He wears a yellow robe outlined in black and dark brown. There is a simple leaf pattern or a fringe in dark brown setting off the arm. On the chest, part of a white undergarment with a pink border is shown." Dated to approximately AD 200 to 256. [Yale University Art Museum Archives].


Photograph taken in the field at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists of a painted tile with a Greek inscription next to the portrait of a man. Rostovtzeff (1936: 298) translates the name as "Barginnaeas." Dated to approximately AD 200 to 256. He wore a white robe with a broad pink stripe over his right shoulder. [Yale University Art Museum Archives].


Photograph taken in the field at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists of the decorated tile with the image of Heliodoros and three other tiles with decoration from the House of the Scribe at Dura Europos, Syria.




Photograph taken in the field at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists and a modern color photograph of a painted tile with a Greek inscription and portrait of a man. Rostovtzeff (1936: 292) translates the text as "Ulpius Silvanus, a Tesserarius". From the House of Scribes at Dura Europos, approximately AD 200 to 256.


Photograph taken in the field at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists of a painted tile with a Greek inscription and portrait of a woman. Rostovtzeff (1936: 294) translates the text as "Chariton" [a man's name]. From the House of Scribes at Dura Europos, approximately AD 200 to 256.


Photograph taken in the field at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists of a painted tile with the image of Pan. From the House of Scribes at Dura Europos, approximately AD 200 to 256. Kraeling (1959:51) notes that 2 possible images of Pan, 2 possible images of Persephone, and 1 possible image of Silenus were identified among the painted tiles from the House of the Scribes. A total of 11 portrait tiles, probably the family members and ancestors, were among the decoroted tiles from the House of the Scribes at Dura Europos. Rostovtzeff (1936: 291) identified the object to the left of Pan is a pedum or shepher's crook while the object to the right can be identified as a syrinx or flute.


Photograph taken in the field at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists of a painted tile with the face of a bearded, bald man. From the House of Scribes at Dura Europos, approximately AD 200 to 256. Rostovtzeff (1936: 291) identified the face as possibly the god named Silenus.


Photograph taken in the field at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists of a painted tile. From the House of Scribes at Dura Europos, approximately AD 200 to 256. Rostovtzeff (1936: 298) identified the name as the misspelling of "Maximus" and the Greek word beneath as the equivalent to the Latin term "architectus" - a Roman army architect.


Photograph taken in the field at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists of a painted tile. From the House of Scribes at Dura Europos, approximately AD 200 to 256. Rostovtzeff (1936: 299) identified the woman's name as Thaamare. She was portrayed as wearing a hood or scarf over her head; both the scarf and her robe are yellow outlined in black.


Photograph taken in the field at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists of a painted tile. From the House of Scribes at Dura Europos, approximately AD 200 to 256. Rostovtzeff (1936: 294) identified the man's name as Salamanus.


Photograph and ink drawing made in the field at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists of a painted tile with the image of a man. From the House of Scribes at Dura Europos, approximately AD 200 to 256. Rostovtzeff (1936: 295) translated the inscription as "Iauthus." [It is possible that the first letter is not an "I"] . "The man wears a buff colored tunic or kaftan belted at the waist. It is ornamented with a curved band about the neck and a vertical strip down the front. It is therefore the typical 'Persian' costume" according to Rostovtzeff (1936:295).


Photograph made in the field at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists of a painted tile with the image of four oranges. From the House of Scribes at Dura Europos, approximately AD 200 to 256.


Photograph made in the field at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists of a painted tile with the image of four oranges. From the House of Scribes at Dura Europos, approximately AD 200 to 256.

Photograph taken in the field at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists of painted tiles with the design of grapes, pomegranates and cones. From the House of Scribes at Dura Europos, approximately AD 200 to 256. Kraeling (1959:51) reports that painted tile with fruits included: 11 grapes (always single bunch and not clusters), 7 pomegranates (4 fruit per tile), 18 oranges (4 fruit per tile), and 17 cones (4 per tile).


Moldmade clay figurine of a harp player (possibly a muse) found at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists. This figurine was discovered in or near the House of the Scribes. Reg. no. 1938.4936.


Clay figurine of a kneeling nude female (possibly Aphrodite) found at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists. This figurine was discovered in or near the House of the Scribes. Reg. no. 1938.4947.


In situ photograph of a wall painting showing Aphrodite and Cupid at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists. This wall painting was discovered inside the House of the Scribes.


Artist copy of a wall painting showing Aphrodite and Cupid at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists. This wall painting was discovered inside the House of the Scribes.


Artist copy of the colors of the wall painting showing Aphrodite and Cupid at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists. This wall painting was discovered inside the House of the Scribes.


Artist copy of the colors of the wall painting showing two small figures (children?) at the foot of a bed - part of the same wall painting with Aphordite and cupid. This wall painting was discovered inside the House of the Scribes.


Clay figurine of a man found at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists. This figurine was discovered in or near the House of the Scribes. Reg. no. 1935.506.


Broken green glazed jar found at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists. This figurine was discovered in or near the House of the Scribes. Reg. no. F467. Toll (1943:23) records the diameter of this pottery vessel as 15.5 cm.


Green glaze jar with three handles found at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists. This artifact was discovered inside the House of the Scribes. Reg. no. 1935.506. Toll (1943:33, Figure 17c, Plate XIIf) records the height of this pottery vessel as 27.3 cm with a diameter of 17.9 cm. The glaze is described as greenish blue. The clay body is described as yellow and coarse textured.


Neck of a glass vessel with applied glass to form a handle found at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists. This glass fragment was discovered in or near the House of the Scribes. Reg. no. 1938.582E.


Glass bead found at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists. This artifact was discovered in or near the House of the Scribes. Reg. no. 1938.4419.


Moldmade clay oil lamp found at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists. This lamp was discovered in or near the House of the Scribes. Reg no. 1938.4707. Baur (1947:37) describes this lamp as manufactured from bluff clay with medium texture. It measures 6.7 cm in diameter and the nozzle protrudes 0.9 cm; the lamp measures 2.3 cm from base to top surface. The discus of the lamp is undecorated but there is a raised ring around the outer edge of the lamp and another raised ring around the fill hole.


Moldmade clay oil lamp found at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists. This lamp was discovered in or near the House of the Scribes. Reg. no. 1938.4678. Baur (1947:30, Plate V.149) describes this lamp as manufactured from reddish bluff clay with medium texture. It measures 6.6 cm in diameter and the nozzle protrudes 0.9 cm; the lamp measures 2.3 cm from base to top surface. The discus of the lamp is decorated with a rosette that has 29 petals.


Moldmade clay oil lamp found at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists. This lamp was discovered in or near the House of the Scribes. Reg. no. 1938.4702. Baur (1947:33) describes the lamp as manufactured from buff clay with medium texture. The lamp measures 6.4 cm in diameter and the nozzle protrudes 0.8 cm; the lamp measures 2.4 cm from base to top surface. The discus of the lamp is decorated with three concentric circles of globules.


Moldmade clay oil lamp found at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists. This lamp was discovered in or near the House of the Scribes. Reg. no. 1938.4681. Baur (1947:30) describes the lamp as manufactured from reddish buff clay with medium texture. The lamp measures 6.5 cm in diameter and the nozzle protrudes 0.9 cm; the lamp measures 2.2 cm from base to top surface. The discus of the lamp is decorated with a rosette that has 24 petals.


Clay plaque with image of a man and lion found at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists. This artifact was discovered in or near the House of the Scribes. Reg. no. 1938.312.


Bronze hardware from small boxes and furniture found at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists. The pieces of metal were excavated from in or near the House of the Scribes. Reg. no. 1938.2445.


Bronze umbo (Greek, shield boss) found at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists. It was excavated from in or near the House of the Scribes.


Bronze armour scale found at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists. It was excavated from in or near the House of the Scribes. Reg. no. 1938.4117.


Textile fragment found at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists. Iit was excavated from in or near the House of the Scribes. Reg. no. 1933.507b. Pfister and Bellnger (1945:20-21; Plate XII) describe this textile as having a warp of undyed wool and two weft threads of dyed and undyed wool. The dyed wool threads include "grey-blue, gray and pink purple; Pfister attributed the dye colors to indigo shaded with a little madder. The warp is 6 to 7 threads per centimeter, the undyed weft is 20 threads per centimeter, and the dyed weft is 36 threads per centimeter. It is very likely that this is the fragment of a clavi that decorated a Roman tunic.


Textile fragment found at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists. It was excavated from in or near the House of the Scribes. Reg. no. 1933. Pfister and Bellnger (1945:20-21; Plate XII) describe this textile as having a warp of undyed wool and two weft threads of dyed and undyed wool. The dyed wool threads include "grey-blue, gray and pink purple; Pfister attributed the dye colors to indigo shaded with a little madder. The warp is 6 to 7 threads per centimeter, the undyed weft is 20 threads per centimeter, and the dyed weft is 36 threads per centimeter. It is very likely that this is the fragment of a clavi that decorated a Roman tunic.


Wall decoration created with fine lines and found at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists. Iit was excavated from inside the House of the Scribes. Reg. no. 1932.1208. The Palmyrene sun god, Iarhibol, stands upon a pedestal. Heliodorus makes an offering to the Iarhibol; a mounted horseman is situated behind Heoliodorus.


Detail of Heliodorus making an offering to the Iarhibol and a mounted horseman is situated behind Heoliodorus.


Detail of the Palmyrene sun god, Iarhibol.


Detail of the Palmyrene sun god, Iarhibol.


Detail of the figure and an inscription to the right of the Palmyrene sun god, Iarhibol.


Graffiti of a horseman created with fine lines and found at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists. It was discovered on the south wall of court 37; the graffiti measured 9 x 10 cm.


Drawing of the graffiti of a horseman created with fine lines and found at Dura Europos by Yale University archaeologists. Rostovtzeff et al. (1936:305 - 306) notes that the figure is a sagittarii (Roman specialized archer regiment).

Baur, P. V. C.
1947 The Lamps [Excavations at Dura-Europos]. Yale University Press, New Haven.

Baur, P. V. C., M. I Rostovtzeff and Alfred R. Bellinger
1933 Prelminary report of the Fourth Season of Work October 1930 - March 1931 [at Dura Europos]. Yale University Press, New Haven.

Kraeling, Carl H.
1956 The Synagogue. Yale University Press, New Haven.

Pfister, R. and Louisa Bellnger
1945 The Textiles [Excavations at Dura Europpos]. Yale University Press, New Haven.

Rostovtzeff, M.
1938 Dura-Europos and its Art. Oxford at the Clarendon Press.

Rostovtzeff, M. I, A. R. Bellinger, C. Hopkins and C. B. Wells
1936 Preliminary Report of the Sixth Season of Work, October 1932 - March 1933 [at Dura Europos]. Yale University Press, New Haven.

Toll, Nicholas
1942 The Green Glazed Pottery [Excavations at Dura-Europos]. Yale University Press, New Haven.

Webpage constructed 29 September 2014