God head detail, originally uploaded by davefitch.

Mosaic Museum – Istanbul, Turkey

“The market of the Sultan Ahrnet Mosque was built over the remains of the former “Great Palace” which is dated to the 4th -6th centuries. The mosaic pavements of the palace were discovered in their original places at the lower end of the market. The mosaics, which were unearthed in the 1930’s, used to decorate the floor of a large hall. The hunting and everyday scenes and the decorative designs exhibit high quality workmanship. Some of the most attractive scenes are the Medusa head, pictures from a lion hunt, and busts enclosed in acanthus leaves. These extremely realistic scenes were done in the style of the Antakya (Antioch) School in the Roman Age. Mosaics found in other districts of the city were carefully encased and moved here to be displayed.”

to see more photos from the mosaic museum http://www.isidore-of-seville.com/istanbulmosaic/myphotos.html 

for a great article “The story of Istanbul’s Great Palace Mosaic Museum begins with the terrible fire which entirely destroyed the neighbourhood of İshakpaşa in Sultanahmet at the beginning of this century…” http://www.aydingun.com/H/dergiler/Skylife/SKYLIFE%20-%20Istanbul%20Mosaic%20Museum.htm