Exposición "Cambio de Era" Córdoba y el Mediterráneo Exposición + info
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Cambio de Era Exhibition

Exhibition

Exhibition
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The Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba hosts the third venue of the Exhibition “Change of Era. Córdoba and the Christian Mediterranean: between Constantine and Justinian”, which will take place from December 16, 2022 to March 15, 2023. The exhibition at this venue aims to show the results of current research on the Cordoba episcopal complex, especially the location of the episcopal basilica and the novelties contributed by the excavations carried out in the Patio de los Naranjos.


The exhibition area occupies part of the 16th nave of the Mosque, in the Abd al-Rahman I sector. The location has been chosen for being the area excavated in the 1930s and for integrating architectural elements from the disappeared late-antique episcopal complex of Córdoba.

Piezas

All the pieces shown in the exhibition come from the building. Its distribution aims to recreate a figurative context in a didactic way, in the approximate location that they should occupy within the simulated worship space in a position similar to that of their original function. The exhibition is complemented in the interior with the indication and explanation of five cymas and a capital inserted in the monument that, due to its iconography (crosses and crismons), refer to a space of Christian worship.

Piezas expuestas

1. Early Christian sarcophagus, reused as a frieze

Mosque-Cathedral. Recovered during the excavation carried out by Félix Hernández in 1932 under the foundation of the eighth column of row seventeen.
4th century (circa AD 325-335) (sarcophagus); 6th century AD (reuse as frieze).
White marble.


The front of the sarcophagus reproduces four evangelical scenes with ten characters, in which the faces of the figures in the foreground are mutilated: the possible deceased as a prayer, the healing of the Hemorroísa, the scene of the rooster (denial of Saint Peter) and a miraculous healing of Christ.


The back is recut as a possible frieze with the raised decorative technique, carved in two planes, with holes intended to house vitreous paste inlays of different colors.



2. Decorated frieze

Piece recovered during the explorations carried out by Félix Hernández in the Mosque-Cathedral.
6th century AD
White marble.


It presents reticulated composition motifs, with boxes framing blades and alternating with crosses. It is made using the same decorative technique as the previous piece, to embed different colored vitreous paste decorations.



3. Holy water stoup with crismon

Piece recovered during the explorations carried out by Félix Hernández in the Mosque-Cathedral.
6th century AD
White marble.


It presents two decorative fields: a circle that frames a central flower from which exafolia motifs emerge and a monogrammatic cross with equal arms framed by a semicircular arch; on the arms of the cross are awkwardly incised a letter "Rho" on the vertical cross and the letters Alpha (left) and Omega (right) on the horizontal arm.


Possibly it is a carved capital for use as a water basin.



4. Cimacio decorated with waves and flowers

Mosque-Cathedral. Found in 2009 inserted in the upper part (roofs) of the façade wall of the oratory, in a screed from the end of the s. XV and beginning of the XVI.
6th-7th century AD
White marble.


Decoration made up of four bands of waves from which two heptapetalous flowers with a central button hang. This decorative scheme is identical to that of a ridge reused on the third column of the eastern row of the central nave of the mosque from the Abd al-Rahman I phase.



5. Gate board

Mosque-Cathedral. Recovered in 2014 from the chapel of Saint Nicholas and Ihesu Verde, where it was reused as a tomb cover
7th century AD
White marble


The central field is decorated with a composition of secant circles that form four-petaled flowers filled with six-petaled rosettes with a central button. The side frames are decorated with two intertwined stems enclosing six-petal rosettes with a central button. It has obvious analogies with other nearby pieces: one from the San Pelagio seminary, today in the National Archaeological Museum of Madrid, and another of unknown origin, preserved in the Archaeological Museum of Córdoba, so it could have originally belonged to the same decorative ensemble.



6. Gate board

Mosque-Cathedral. Recovered in the thirties of the 20th century, during the interventions of Félix Hernández in the mosque.
7th century AD
White marble.


The decoration is arranged in two superimposed fields: the lower one alternates a pediment with a scalloped scallop and a semicircular arch decorated with unrecognizable spiral motifs; the upper one has a circle that encloses a radial composition of plant motifs. The German researchers H. Schlunk and Th. Hauschild proposed in 1978 a reconstruction of the gate by symmetry, based on the consideration that only half of the piece is preserved.



7. Openwork lattice (old gate)

Mosque-Cathedral. According to Amador de los Ríos (1879), the two identical pieces were discovered by them “in one of the basements of the cathedral”.
7th century AD
White marble.


Gate plate, cut on its smaller sides, sawn at the top corresponding to the pediments and perforated to transform it into latticework. It presents decorative motifs of a radial gallonada rosette and a profiled wheel with herringbone decoration with eight lobed spokes that converge towards a central rosette. It could have been reused on the western façade of the Abd al-Rahman I Mosque, south of the Gate of Saint Stephen or of the Viziers, from where it was removed in 1679, when work began on the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception.



8. Openwork lattice (old gate)

Mosque-Cathedral. According to Amador de los Ríos (1879), the two identical pieces were discovered by them “in one of the basements of the cathedral”.
7th century AD
White marble.


Gate plate, cut on its smaller sides, sawn at the top corresponding to the pediments and perforated to transform it into latticework. It presents decorative motifs of a radial gallonada rosette and a profiled wheel with herringbone decoration with eight lobed spokes that converge towards a central rosette. It could have been reused on the western façade of the Mosque of Abd al-Rahman I, to the south of the Puerta de San Sebastián or Puerta de los Viziers, from where it was extracted in 1679, when work began on the chapel of the Immaculate Conception. .



9. Gate plate

Mosque-Cathedral. Recovered in the thirties of the 20th century, during the interventions of Félix Hernández in the mosque.
7th century AD
White marble.


The decoration presents an orthogonal composition of intersecting circles that form shaped flowers with four petals and squares with concave sides, filled with small crosses. This motif of intersecting circles is widespread, with various variants, in late-antique and early-medieval architectural decoration on the Iberian Peninsula.



10. Marble plate, reused as a lattice

Mosque-Cathedral. Recovered in the excavation of the eastern façade of the Mosque of Abd al-Rahman I, carried out by Hernández in 1931-1932.
6th century AD
White marble.


Plaque with a simple decoration of secant circles, without profiled leaves, arranged strictly in two planes. This simple decorative scheme is common in Hispanic pieces from the 6th century.
The plate is intentionally cut at right angles on its right side, to transform it into a lattice. Having been recovered in the excavation of the eastern façade of the founding Mosque of Abd al-Rahman I, it was included in the exhibition of the San Clemente Museum, together with other pieces recovered from the restorations of the façades of the Islamic building.



11. Scroll frieze

Mosque-Cathedral. From the Chapel of San Eulogio.
7th century AD
White marble.


Scroll frieze decorated with bunches of grapes facing each other and small flowers with central buds.


On the flat surface of one of the stems the text "Chapel of San Ulogios" appears written in soot or charcoal, which allows us to identify its origin as the chapel of San Eulogio, on the north wall of the Mosque-Cathedral, to the east of the gate of Las Palmas founded in the first half of the 17th century.



12. Impost recovered from the Puerta de Santa Catalina

Mosque-Cathedral. Recovered in 1895 from the Santa Catalina gate, where it was reused as a threshold.
7th century AD
Micritic limestone (mine stone).


On the main face, it shows in the center an elongated Greek cross with horizontal arms, flanked by secant circles that form flowers with four petals, filled with crosses. The left side face is decorated with a succession of four blind arches, among which are lilies.



13. Foot of altar

Mosque-Cathedral.
7th century AD
White marble.


Altar foot that probably reused a Roman altar or pedestal. In the upper part, it preserves the rectangular loculus for the relics. It is decorated on all four sides. One of the fronts is divided into two fields: the upper one shows a large flower with eight petals; the lower one presents an orthogonal composition of intersecting circles forming flowers with four furrowed petals and below a continuous series of rhombuses with a central furrow. The center of the opposite front is occupied by a large Greek cross of which only the vertical arms remain, the horizontal arms having been mutilated. Below, a series of furrowed diamonds and pairs of flowers with twelve petals, similar to the lower panels of the sides, separated by a vertical stem, on which the central cross rests. On the lateral faces alternate a large flower with twelve petals, a series of furrowed rhombuses and pairs of flowers with twelve petals.



14. Video of plaque-niche with crismón

Mosque-Cathedral. Recovered by changing the marble pavement.
Last third of the 6th century AD.
White marble

Plaque-niche reused as a tomb cover, as evidenced by the inscription on the reverse dated 1633.



15. Glass patera base with cross

Mosque-Cathedral. Excavation in the Patio de los Naranjos, 2020-2022
Last third of the 6th century AD.
green glass


Located on a pavement level of the rooms of the patio building.


Glass bowl umbo whose molded bottom is decorated with a Greek cross with globular arms.



16. Ceramic decorated plate

Mosque-Cathedral. Félix Hernández excavations, 1930s
5th-6th centuries AD
baked clay


Rectangular plate, with mold decoration, whose central motif is a circle that encloses a hexagon decorated with triangles and bevel segments. The circle is in turn surrounded by a double band decorated with triangles or wolf's teeth. Blades or crosses are arranged in each of the four corners.


The triangles and bevelled segments of the central motif draw several schematic rosettes with six intertwined petals. This floral motif is common in the Mediterranean world, related to allusions to divinity in an abstract way. In this context, due to its shape it can be associated with the chrismon. The piece is similar to other decorated plaques found in Morón de la Frontera (Seville), where the location of the manufacturing workshop is proposed.


The two wide smooth lateral bands or partitions that it has allow us to suggest that this piece was part of the decoration of the coffers with flat wooden roofs.



17. Ceramic decorated plate

Mosque-Cathedral. Félix Hernández excavations, 1930s
5th-6th centuries AD
baked clay


Rectangular plate with mold decoration, whose central decoration is similar to that of the previous plate, with the difference that in the corners the rectangle with a cross inside is replaced by a triangular motif. The main peculiarity of this piece is that, instead of a recess on its smaller sides, like the previous one, it has projections with respect to the central body of the plate.



18. Decorated plaque fragment

Mosque-Cathedral. Excavation in the Patio de los Naranjos, 2020-2022
5th-6th centuries AD
baked clay



19. Brick with EX OFF LEONTI inscription

Mosque-Cathedral. Excavation in the Patio de los Naranjos, 2020-2022
6th century AD
baked clay



20. Brick with EX OFF LEONTI inscription (copy)

Mosque-Cathedral. Félix Hernández excavations, thirties of the 20th century.
6th century AD


The piece is a mold copy of one of the bricks inserted in the walls associated with the mosaic currently visible inside the mosque. These walls are made with the mixed construction technique, known as “opus vittatum mixtum”, in which small rectangular stone blocks alternate with courses of brick. Typographic features have led to dating this inscription in the sixth century.



21. Mosaic of the s. VI AD

Mosque-Cathedral. Félix Hernández excavations, thirties of the 20th century.
6th century AD


Mosaic, currently hidden under the ground, associated with masonry structures, oriented perpendicular to the Islamic oratory.


In its decoration, one can appreciate, on the one hand, a pattern of alternating black and white rhombuses, corresponding to a space between columns; on the other hand, the central decorative scheme is made up of octagons defined by braids whose vertices are arranged with squares decorated with motifs of cruciform leaves and lilies and whose outer sides are distributed leaves with five lobes. It shows an exceptional scheme, unprecedented in the Iberian Peninsula, but with several examples in churches in the central area of the Mediterranean, with a chronology from the second half of the 6th century.



Piezas dispersas

22. Cimacio with crosses

6th-7th centuries AD
White marble

Cimacio reused in the construction of the Cathedral from the first half of the 16th century. It presents decoration on the front with a crismon in the center and on both sides kicked Greek crosses with the ends of the arms marked by a notch (like Maltese crosses) inserted in circles. In the upper vertices of the ends there are small crosses inserted in circles. On the sides, rows of at least three kicked Greek crosses inserted in circles.



23. Cymacio with crismon

6th century AD
White marble

Cimacio reused in the construction of the Cathedral from the first half of the 16th century. It presents decoration on the front with a lattice motif with buttons on the vertices. In the center and framed by a circular listel, there is a crismon with bevel-carved arms ending in a notch. On the left horizontal arm is a figure similar to an omega. The lattice motif is found in other cymas reused in the Abd al-Rahman II extension.



24. Cymacio with waves

6th-7th centuries AD
White marble.

This cimacio reused in the mosque of Abd al-Rahman I is identical to the one shown in the exhibition and to another cimacio, somewhat more deteriorated, exhibited in the museum of San Vicente. The decoration is made up of four bands that form waves from whose lower curves hang two heptapetalous flowers with a central button, in which the upper central petal stands out.



25. Capital with cross

7th century AD (second half)
White marble

Corinthian capital derived from oriental prototypes, with some unique decorative motifs, such as the feather-shaped acanthus leaves sprouting from the straight stems. In the central axis of the south face, between the two rows or crowns of acanthus leaves, there is a double circle that frames a small Greek cross; the only one conserved in the pieces reused in the mosque of Abd al-Rahman I. On the other sides there are double circles decorated with petals or rosettes. The flowers of the abacus on the north and south sides are replaced by figurative motifs in the form of birds (doves or peacocks) that peck at the ground.



26. Cimacio with chopped cross

6th-7th centuries AD
White marble

Decorated on its three visible faces with the same scheme in which they have trifolia motifs at the ends, reticles or vertical blades and in the center a chopped Greek cross. In the same line of the façade of the Abd al-Rahman I mosque, five cymas of the same series are reused.



27. Cimacio with chopped cross

6th-7th centuries AD
White marble

Decorated on its three visible faces with the same scheme in which they have trifolia motifs at the ends, reticles or vertical blades and in the center a chopped Greek cross. In the same line of the façade of the Abd al-Rahman I mosque, five cymas of the same series are reused.



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