Ancient Skeleton Mosaic Has A Surprisingly Cheerful Message


Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

clockApr 25 2016, 14:45 UTC
1194 Ancient Skeleton Mosaic Has A Surprisingly Cheerful Message
Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

If you need some motivation to get you through this week, take some advice from the chilled out skeleton on this 2,400-year-old mosaic.

This little piece of ancient wisdom includes a skeleton, drunkenly slumped with a glass of wine and some bread, along with the text “Be cheerful, live your life” written in Greek. The mosaic is believed to date back to the third century BCE, according to the archaeologists who discovered it. 


The artwork was found as part of a larger floor tile design among the ruins of a dining room that would have once belonged to a upper class family in Turkey’s southern Hatay province. The city, now known as Antakya, was referred to as Antiocheia during the ancient Greco-Roman era.

Speaking to Turkish news site Hurriyet Daily News, Demet Kara, an archaeologist from the Hatay Archaeology Museum, suggests this artwork could be one of a kind: “[This is] a unique mosaic in Turkey. There is a similar mosaic in Italy but this one is much more comprehensive."

She added, "Antiocheia was a very important, rich city... Antiocheia mosaics are world famous.”

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  • archeology,

  • funny,

  • skeleton,

  • history,

  • mosaic,

  • Greco-Roman