Karen Britt: Mosaic Specialist

Believing is SeeingMosaics in Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Religious Buildings

What: Visiting Scholar Lecture, Dr. Karen Britt
When: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Humanities Lecture Hall

Free and open to the public.

Dr. Karen Britt, eastern Mediterranean mosaic specialist, will present the first lecture for Spring 2018 as part of the local chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America's continuing lecture series. Dr. Britt is currently Research Scholar and Lecturer in Art History, School of Art + Design at Western Carolina University. Professor Britt, has worked on mosaic pavements at various archaeological projects in the eastern Mediterranean and is currently the mosaic specialist for the Huqoq Excavation Project in Israel where a number of spectacular figural mosaics have been found in recent years. For a look at this site, check out this National Geographic article.

Dr. Britt has published widely on mosaics of the late antique, Byzantine, and early Islamic periods. Her most recent publication is a co-authored monograph, The Elephant Mosaic Panel in the Synagogue at Huqoq: Official Publication and Initial Interpretations (by Karen Britt and Ra'anan Boustan, Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplement 106).

Based on recent archaeological discoveries, Dr. Britt’s lecture for our society will explore what ancient floor mosaics in Jordan and Israel reveal about the religious traditions of early Jewish, Christian, and Muslim communities from the fifth through eighth centuries. In antiquity, as today, these communities lived side-by-side. The picture of the past that emerges from placing this artistic tradition, shared by all the three faiths, in a broader context challenges the stereotypes frequently associated with these groups.

Her talk, Believing is Seeing: Mosaics in Christian, Jewish and Muslim Religious Buildings, will be on Wednesday, February 21 at 7:30 p.m., in the Humanities Lecture Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The lecture is sponsored by the Departments of Art/Art History and Classics as well as the local society of the Archaeological Institute of America. This lecture is part of the Archaeological Institute of America’s 122nd Lecture Program that will bring leading scholars to audiences across the U.S. during the 2017-18 academic year. For more information, contact Laurel Taylor, UNC Asheville senior lecturer in classics and art history, ltaylor@unca.edu or 828.251.6290.

For more information on the mosaic discoveries, see these articles: