ANIMAL ART OF THE DAY for International Zebra Day #2: Zebras in ancient mosaics

Compared to other well-known African ungulates like giraffes, hippos, and rhinos, zebras are rather rare in ancient mosaics. I have only been able to locate five examples, all Byzantine from the 5th-6th centuries, collected below.

1. Diakonikon-Baptistery, Mount Zebo, Jordan 530 CE
2. Villa of the Amazons, Edessa (Urfa), Turkey 5th-6th c.
3. Gaza Synagogue, Palestine 6th c.
4. Western portico of the Byzantine Agora, Bet She’an National Park, Israel 6th c.
5. Delphi Church, Greece 5th-6th c.

Okay, so that one is the iffiest of the bunch, but I do think it was an attempt at a zebra LOL…these last ones below, however, probably weren’t:

Eastern Basilica, Qasr, Libya, c. 540
Eastern Basilica, Qasr, Libya, c. 540

Although sometimes labeled as zebras online, those squiggly stripes are more likely just an iconographic device to indicate fur texture, and the animals are probably sheep – perhaps an ancient breed of Fat-tailed Sheep? (See this conversation I had on Twitter for more on the Fat-tailed Sheep theory, and thanks to Markus Bühler from Bestiarium for the suggestion!)

Anyway, if anyone knows of any other examples please do share, thanks!

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