Colorful Roman Mosaic Unearthed in Israel

by johnsmith

Archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) have uncovered a 1,800-year-old beautiful mosaic in the Caesarea National Park, Israel.

The 1,800-year-old Roman mosaic uncovered in Caesarea, Israel. Image credit: Assaf Peretz, Israel Antiquities Authority.

The 1,800-year-old Roman mosaic uncovered in Caesarea, Israel. Image credit: Assaf Peretz, Israel Antiquities Authority.

IAA archaeologists Dr. Peter Gendelman and Dr. Uzi ‘Ad and their colleagues uncovered part of a large, opulent building dating back 1,500 years to the Byzantine period.

They believe the building was part of an agora, a large public area for commerce and socializing.

To the archaeologists’ surprise, under the Byzantine-era structure they found a spectacular mosaic from an even earlier building.

“This colorful mosaic, measuring more than 10 x 26 feet (3.5 x 8 m), is of a rare high quality,” the archaeologists said.

“It features three male figures, multicolored geometric patterns and a long inscription in Greek, which were damaged by the Byzantine building constructed on top of it.”

“The figures wear togas and apparently belonged to the upper class. The central figure is frontal and the two other face him on either side.”

“Who are they? That depends on what the building was used for, which is not yet clear. If the mosaic was part of a mansion, the figures may have been the owners,” they said.

“If this was a public building, they might have represented the donors of the mosaic or members of the city council.”

The mosaic images were created using small, densely placed tesserae — with about 12,000 stones per m2.

Caesarea never stops surprising, fascinating and thrilling us, time after time revealing slices of history of worldwide significance,” said Guy Swersky, deputy and acting chairman of the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation.

“This amazing mosaic is a unique find in Israel. This is especially true considering where it was found — in the northern part of the park, in an area that has hardly been excavated.”

“The impressive mosaic joins the many other important recently unearthed archaeological finds,” added Michael Karsenty, CEO of the Caesarea Development Corporation.

“Among these is the altar of the temple built by Herod 2,000 years ago and mentioned by the ancient historian Josephus Flavius; a mother-of-pearl tablet etched with a seven-branched candelabrum, as well as the statue of a ram, which was a symbol of Christian congregation in the Byzantine period.”

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