Roman mosaic showing ostriches being loaded onto ship
Roman mosaic showing ostriches being loaded onto a ship. Once captured, the wild animals were kept in large cages to keep them calm and to prevent them from being hurt.
The transport of animals to the coast usually took place to the nearest possible port; the mosaic probably shows the port in Carthage. The boat (here navis actuaria) was equipped with sails and oars to ensure the fastest possible speed of the vessel, even in windy weather.
The depicted scene is part of a large mosaic floor in Rome’s luxury villa, Villa Romana del Casale, Sicily.