Gorgeous ancient mosaic found near Tel Aviv returns home

An exceptionally well-preserved Roman floor mosaic depicting a rich variety of fish, animals, birds and ships has returned to where it was first found in a Tel Aviv suburb after a decade-long tour of some of the world’s finest museums. .

The 1,700-year-old late Roman mosaic was discovered in 1996 during the construction of a highway, but was not put on display until 2009, when sufficient funds were donated to preserve it.

The colorful mosaic, 55 feet (17 meters) long and about 29 feet (9 meters) wide, may have served as the floor foyer of a mansion in the affluent Lod neighborhood, near what is now Tel Aviv, the Israel Antiquities Authority said. statement.

“The owner was probably a very wealthy merchant because he traveled all over the world and saw different things, like all the ships and the fish depicted in the mosaic,” said archaeologist Hagit Torge from the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The design of the mosaic was influenced by North African mosaics and lacks any depictions of humans, suggesting it may have belonged to a Christian or Jew who wanted to avoid pagan attributes such as depictions of Roman gods, said archaeologist Amir Ghorzalchani of Israel Antiquities. Authority.

The mosaic will now be on display at the archaeological center built on the site of its discovery in Lod.

Top image caption: Workers clean a restored Roman-era mosaic after it was placed in its original location in Lod, now an Israeli city, where an archaeological center was opened on June 27, 2022. Reuters/ Amir Cohen

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