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Cable guys uncover 1,500-year-old Greek mosaic

Archaeologists believe the mosaic may have been the floor of an ancient boutique hotel.


August 23, 2017 | Latest Photo Prev Next
The mosaic found in Jerusalem.The mosaic found in Jerusalem.Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority
August 23, 2017 | Latest Photo

Sometimes the cable guy is late. Sometimes the cable guy gives you HBO for free. And other times, like this summer in Israel, the cable guy discovers history. While installing cable wire underground, technicians in Jerusalem came across something extraordinary: an ancient artifact.

It was a 1,500-year-old mosaic floor with a Greek inscription. Archaeologists were called in and determined that the find was likely part of the accommodations at a monastery in Jerusalem.

"The fact that the inscription survived is an archaeological miracle," said David Gellman, the director of the excavation. "We were about to close the excavation, when all of a sudden, a corner of the mosaic inscription peeked out between the pipes and cables. Amazingly, it had not been damaged. Every archaeologist dreams of finding an inscription in their excavations, especially one so well preserved and almost entirely intact."

A worker from the Israeli Antiquities Authority cleans off the mosaic.A worker from the Israeli Antiquities Authority cleans off the mosaic. (Photo: IAA)

The discovery is just the latest in a string of archaeological discoveries in Israel of late. Earlier this month, archaeologists discovered the lost home of Jesus' apostles. Last month, we found out that the Mediterranean may have been home to 16th-century pirates, and the month before that colored fabrics were found in an ancient copper mine.

To help store the influx of findings, a 350,000-square-foot complex is being built in Jerusalem. It will soon open to the public and be home to 2 million ancient artifacts.

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