Israel Discovers Ancient Mosaic Floor


A 1,700-year-old mosaic floor in Lod, Israel—discovered last year by the Israel Antiquities Authority during a construction project—has been unveiled to the public, according to numerous reports.

The authority said it made the discovery while building a visitor center, Shelby White and Leon Levy Lod Mosiac Center, to house another famous mosaic, discovered more than 20 years ago at the same location, reports relate.

Both mosaics were located in a villa in an affluent neighborhood that stood during the Roman and Byzantine eras, news outlets say, citing the IAA.

Rare Discovery

“The aim of the excavation was to prepare the ground for the construction of a visitor center, to which the beautiful mosaic will be returned when it completes a series of exhibitions in museums around the world,” IAA spokeswoman Yoli Shwartz told The Jerusalem Post.

“Important artifacts were discovered in the new excavation, the most notable of which is another colorful mosaic.”

Archaeologists unearthed the new mosaic from June to November 2014, reports say, citing the IAA.

‘Highly Developed Artistry

The newly discovered mosaic features hunting scenes, animals, fish, birds, flowers and vases.

It is 11 meters by 13 meters (36 feet by 42 feet) and was reportedly located in the courtyard pavement of the villa.

“[T]he quality of the images portrayed in the mosaic indicates a highly developed artistic ability,” Dr. Amir Gorzalczany, excavation director on behalf of the authority said in a statement.

Previous Discovery

The previously discovered mosaic was located in the living room floor of the same villa. It had been discovered in the early 1990s when the IAA was inspecting development work prior to the construction of a new highway.

That mosaic has been displayed in museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Louvre in Paris, according to the Associated Press.

It is currently being displayed at the Cini Gallery in Venice, Italy, and will be moved the new visitor center when it is complete.

The new visitor center will also feature portions of frescos that also adorned the villa, reports say.


Tagged categories: Color; Decorative concrete; Decorative finishes; Decorative Finishes; Design; Floors; Middle East; Research; Tile

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