1,700-year-old mosaic discovered in a coincidental spot
What are the chances? Artwork unearthed on a very familiar site.
Ancient mosaics are great for learning about older cultures, and they're also just plain cool-looking. So we were pretty intrigued when the Israel Antiquities Authority unveiled on Monday a 1,700-year-old mosaic floor that archaeologists found last year in the central Israeli city of Lod.
They discovered it while – get this – building a visitors center meant to display a different mosaic that was found 20 years ago in the same place. That spot is the Mary Poppins' bag of archaeological sites.
The recently discovered mosaic was built for an ancient courtyard in an affluent neighborhood that stood during the Roman and Byzantine eras and features hunted animals, fish, flowers, 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.
The earlier-discovered mosaic has been presented at a variety of museums, including the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Louvre in Paris and the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg. It's currently on display at the Cini Gallery in Venice, Italy, and will return to Lod once the visitors center is complete (assuming they don't continue to find an ever-growing array of mosaics on that spot).
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