This stunning artifact comes from the Mithraeum of Santa Prisca on the Aventine and dates back to the 1st half of the 3rd century AD.
It is now exhibited at the Roman National Museum, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme in Rome.
It is inlaid with limestone and marbles of different colors and shading obtained by fire and excels for the fineness of its execution.
The face of the sun god, often represented in subterranean sites dedicated to the Persian god Mithras,
shows direct derivation from the iconography of Alexander the Great,
in the type of his face documented in Hellenistic art.
My personal addition in copying this marvelous
work of art is the black background
and the round meander
Opus sectile is an art technique popularized in the ancient and medieval Roman world where materials were cut and inlaid into walls and floors to make a picture or pattern. Opus sectile, type of mosaic work in which figural patterns are composed of pieces of stone or, sometimes, shell or mother-of-pearl cut in shapes to fit the component parts of the design, thereby differing in approach from the more common type of mosaic in which each shape in the design is composed of many small cubes .