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CULTURE & HERITAGE - Culture & History

Israel unveils 1,700-year-old mosaic

The Roman-era mosaic, discovered during the building of the visitor center in Lod, opened for public viewing mid-November.

A 1,700-year-old mosaic floor uncovered in Lod was opened for public viewing for the first time on Monday. The mosaic was discovered during the building of a visitor center meant to display another mosaic that had been found in the same place 20 years ago.

The discovery is part of a villa that was revealed during excavations undertaken by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) between June and November 2014. The dig took place in Lod's Neve Yerek neighborhood which was originally, according to the IAA's director of the excavation Dr. Amir Gorzalczany, "part of a neighborhood of affluent houses that stood here during the Roman and Byzantine periods.

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A portion of the 1,700-year-old mosaic uncovered in Lod. Photo : Israel Antiquities Authority)

"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," Dr. Gorzalczany continued .

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Archaeologists working on the mosaic in Lod. Photo : Israel Antiquities Authority)

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A portion of the 1,700-year-old mosaic in Lod. (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority)

The current excavations exposed the southern part of the complex that Dr. Gorzalczany is referring to. The finds include a large courtyard paved with a mosaic and surrounded by porticos, as well as portions of frescoes. According to Dr. Gorzalczany, "The quality of the images portrayed in the mosaic indicates a highly developed artistic ability."

The 11x13 meter mosaic will be available to view on Tuesday and Wednesday from 8am until 4pm and on Friday from 8am until 1pm.