Asaroton (Unswept Floor)

Boston, Massachusetts
Asaroton, also known as Unswept Floor, is a public art display created by Mags Harries featuring bronze debris from the market at Haymarket Square.
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About This Location

If you have ever been in Boston on a weekend you have likely seen the market at Haymarket Square. This is Boston’s oldest continually operated outdoor market and it is beloved. The general public knows to expect great deals from the vendors on fresh produce and also a fair amount of chaos.

There are a lot of people buying, selling, and simply just walking around. If you look down on market days, you will likely see a lot of things that have accidentally fallen including fruits, vegetables, fish, boxes, and more. Also, you may notice something rather odd… bronze replicas of the previously mentioned debris. 

This is Asaroton, also known as Unswept Floor, and it is a public art display created by Mags Harries. She created it in 1976 for Boston’s celebration of the United State’s Bicentennial. Asaroton features bronze replicas of market debris embedded in concrete. The piece derives from Roman floor mosaics, known as Asaroton, which create the illusion of debris from a banquet littering the floor. Mosaics like these were used in dining rooms in ancient Rome where wealthy people would party and eat. Asaroton in Greek translates to “unswept floor.”

Harries talked about Asaroton and said “When the stalls and real debris of the farmer’s market cover the art, it becomes part of a living experience. On the other days of the week, it is a memory of the market.”


Address: Blackstone Street, Boston, Massachusetts
Place GPS Coordinates: 42.361972, -71.056639
Parking GPS Coordinates: 42.361972, -71.056639
Parking Notes: Limited parking is available along Blackstone Street with additional street parking, garages, and lots nearby.

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