In Sicily, the floor mosaics of an important location, the UNESCO site of the Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina, depict an evocative testimony of how complex the organisation of the shows in the Roman amphitheatre was.
The ambulatory (a portico in the upper part of the Villa), around 60 metres long, is known as the “corridor of the great hunt”.
As a matter of fact, the themes dealt with by the mosaicists in late antiquity do not involve scenes of killing, but rather the capture and transport of ferocious and exotic animals, providing us with the most extensive figurative example of this kind from antiquity.
Starting from the North African regions, passing through Italy and Egypt and settling, according to some scholars, in India, and to others, in Ethiopia, the narrative unfolds in seven scenes divided into three registers (the parts into which a depiction is divided): the upper section is occupied by a wild or urban landscape; the central section by generic scenes with a prevalence of animal chases; while in the lower section, which occupies the largest space, the main events of the capture and transport come to life.
The protagonists of the action are military hunters, servants, those in charge of transport, and the officials directing the operations.