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Archaeologists unveil 1,500-year-old mosaic

Rare, ancient artwork depicting streets and buildings in ancient Egypt has finally been revealed to the public.


September 30, 2015 | Latest Photo Prev Next
An employee of the Israeli Antiquities Authority works on a rare 1,500-year old mosaic in the southern Israeli city of Qiryat Gat.An employee of the Israeli Antiquities Authority works on a rare 1,500-year old mosaic in the southern Israeli city of Qiryat Gat.Photo: GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images
September 30, 2015 | Latest Photo

An industrial park is not where you'd expect to find history being made, but that's exactly what occurred today in southern Israel as employees of the Israeli Antiquities Authority unveiled a rare, ancient mosaic that once served as a Byzantine church floor.

The mosaic, believed to be about 1,500 years old, was discovered in the city of Qiryat Gat about two years ago and removed for preservation until several weeks ago. Today is the first day it's been available for public viewing.

What's rare about the mosaic, officials said, is that it depicts scenes of streets and buildings, rather than scenes of animals and people normally found in ancient mosaics.

The mosaic was removed from Qiryat Gat for conservation and was returned to its permanent location several weeks ago.The mosaic was removed from Qiryat Gat for conservation and was returned to its permanent location several weeks ago. (Photo: GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Two sections of the mosaic were preserved; the rest did not survive. One section features scenes of animals such as a rooster, deer and birds. In another section lies a Nile River landscape consisting of a boat with a rolled-up sail, as well as detailed streets and buildings with two to three stories, balconies, galleries and windows.

“The appearance of buildings on mosaic floors is a rare phenomenon in Israel. The buildings are arranged along a main colonnaded street of a city, in a sort of ancient map," Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists Sa‘ar Ganor and Dr. Rina Avner said in a statement.

Though the mosaic is not a complete picture, it still provides an incredible glimpse into ancient times.

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Related Topics: Archaeology, Science