Name of Object:



Setif, Algeria

Holding Museum:

National Museum of Setif

About National Museum of Setif, Setif

Date of Object:

Hegira 406–547 / AD 1015–1152

Museum Inventory Number:

I.S. 174

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Sculpted and painted plaster.


Diameter 19 cm, depth 7.6 cm

Period / Dynasty:



Qal’at Bani Hammad, Algeria.


Decorative rose patera or rosette in sculpted plaster composed of ten petals in blue on a red background. All that remains of the blue is a tiny trace on the edge of a petal. The central part would have been painted in yellow, as other plaster fragments discovered at the same place were painted in blue, red and yellow. The disappearance of the colour is due to the natural effects of light and air.
This rose patera was no doubt just one element belonging to a plaster frieze that featured three colours (blue, red and yellow); or perhaps, as is affirmed by Marçais, it was placed on the cornerstone of an arch.

View Short Description

Sculpted plaster piece representing a ten-petal rosette, originally painted blue, around a corolla, which may have been painted yellow, all on a red background. The colours have not survived well. This rosette would have been part of a multicoloured plaster frieze.

How date and origin were established:

It was found in the Dar al-Bahr of the Qal'at Bani Hammad, which dates from the 5th–6th / 11th–12th centuries, according to Kitab al-Istibsar: 'The Banu Hammad built some important constructions in the qal'a … including [the palace] known as Dar al-Bahr, at the centre of which was a vast basin'.

How Object was obtained:

Archaeological repository (De Beylié excavations, 1908).

How provenance was established:

From the report of the De Beylié excavation, 1909.

Selected bibliography:

Beylié, général de, La Kalaa des Beni Hammad, une capitale berbère de l'Afrique du Nord au XIe siècle, Paris, 1909.
Bourouiba, R., Les H'ammadites, Algiers, 1984.
Golvin, L., Recherches archéologiques à la Qal'a des Banû Hammâd, Paris, 1965.
Marçais, G., L'architecture musulmane d'Occident, Paris, 1954.
Robert, A., “La Kalâa des Beni Hammad (Maadid)”, Recueil de Constantine, Vol. 43, 1909, pp.97–100.

Citation of this web page:

Houria Cherid "Rosette" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020.;ISL;dz;Mus01;19;en

Prepared by: Houria CheridHouria Cherid

Titulaire d'un magister en archéologie islamique (1992), enseignante à l'Institut d'archéologie de l'université d'Alger de 1992 à 1999, conservateur du patrimoine archéologique et historique au Musée national des antiquités de 1994 à 2002, puis conservateur en chef à partir de 2002, Houria Cherid est chef du service Labo-photo, département Animation et Documentation au Musée national des antiquités. Elle a publié de nombreux articles dans les Annales du Musée national des antiquités et prépare actuellement un doctorat en archéologie islamique.

Copyedited by: Margot Cortez
Translation by: Maria Vlotides
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen

MWNF Working Number: AL 26


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