Time and again, the land of Israel reveals hidden treasures testifying to its rich history. This time, an intricate and colorful Roman-era mosaic was found in Lod.
Israel’s antiquities authority (IAA) unveiled on Monday a 1,700-year-old mosaic floor that archaeologists found last year while building a visitors’ center meant to display another mosaic, discovered two decades ago at the same location.
The authority said the newly discovered Roman-era mosaic measures 11 meters by 13 meters (36 feet by 42 feet) and paved the courtyard of a villa in an affluent neighborhood that stood during the Roman and Byzantine eras. The scenes include hunting animals, fish, vases and birds.
“The quality of the images portrayed in the mosaic indicates a highly developed artistic ability,” said Amir Gorzalczany, who directed the excavation.
“At that time Lod was called Diospolis and was the district capital, until it was replaced by Ramla after the Muslim conquest. The building was used for a very long time,” he explained.
The new mosaic was found just a few meters (yards) from the first one, in what is today the central Israeli city of Lod.
The authority said the mosaic discovered in the 1990’s covered the villa’s living room while the newly discovered one was in its courtyard.
The original mosaic has been displayed at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Louvre in Paris, and the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg. It is currently on display at the Cini Gallery in Venice, Italy, and is expected to return to Lod after the visitors’ center is complete.
Free Ebook: 10 Best Places to Visit in Israel
The Land of Israel has provided the backdrop for some of the most important events in human history. From the Old City in Jerusalem to the Sea of Galilee, people from all over the globe visit the Holy Land each year to take in the breathtaking scenery and inspiration of Israel. Now you can experience this beauty for yourself from the comforts of home and maybe plan a trip of your own to Israel. Get the free, exclusive eBook from United with Israel: The 10 Best Places to Visit in Israel.