Roman Mosaics, 4th Century,
Villa Romana del Casale
Piazza Armerina, Sicily, Italy
Room of the 10 Girls
The vast African Hunt mosaic has competition from a much
smaller Room of 10 Girls. They are supposed to be athletes,
exercising with balls and weights, rather than models for
ancient bikinis, but it's hard to tell the difference.
Whether or not the bikini originated here, these scenes of the
young women are easier to see and photograph compared to
the densely crowded African Hunt mural nearby.
Here are a trio working on different exercise routines. On
the left she is clearly lifting weights, while in the center one
must assume that is a heavy ball, and a runner is on the right.
They remain better known over the centuries than most
Olympian gold medal winners.