Stunning Roman Mosaic of Wild Animals and Marine Scenes Returns to Israel After Tour

Stunning Roman mosaic featuring wild animals and marine scenes is returning to Israel after a world tour.

  • The 1,700-year-old mosaic has been put on public display in Israel after more than a decade in the world’s top museums, including the Louvre and the Met.
  • The mosaic was first discovered in the city of Lod in 1996, but was not fully discovered until 2009 by the Israel Antiquities Authority.
  • “It was the largest, most impressive and unique mosaic ever discovered in Israel,” said Mark Avraami, head of the IAA Art Preservation Department.
  • The impressive mosaic measures 56 feet by 30 feet.

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A magnificent and detailed Roman mosaic has returned home to Israel after more than a decade in the world’s major museums.

The 1700 year old mosaic was originally discovered by accident in 1996 by Miriam Avisar of Israeli The Antiquities Authority (IAA) during excavations attempting to salvage archaeological finds at the hermitage on HeHaluts Street. in Lod.

It took another 13 years for it to be fully excavated by researchers.

“This was the largest, most impressive and unique mosaic discovered in Israel,” Lod Mark Avraami, head of art conservation, said at the opening ceremony of the Shelby White and Leon Levy Archaeological Center on Monday. Jerusalem Post.

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“It was the largest, most impressive and unique mosaic ever discovered in Israel,” Mark Avraami, head of the IAA’s art preservation department, said on Monday. Above: A detailed view of one part of a mosaic depicting several types of fish.

Although the beautiful mosaic was first found in 1996, it took another 13 years for archaeologists to fully unearth it.  A worker can be seen cleaning part of the mosaic.

Although the beautiful mosaic was first found in 1996, it took another 13 years for archaeologists to fully unearth it. A worker can be seen cleaning part of the mosaic.

The new mosaic home is at the Shelby White and Leon Levy Mosaic Archaeological Center in Lod.  A worker cleans a Roman-era mosaic of elephants, fish and other animals.

The new mosaic home is at the Shelby White and Leon Levy Mosaic Archaeological Center in Lod. A worker cleans a Roman-era mosaic of elephants, fish and other animals.

The mosaic measures 56 feet by 30 feet – quite massive.

It features a collection of animals including the African elephant, rhinoceros and giraffe.

“It is very impressive in its artistic style, and its state of preservation was perfect,” Avraami said, adding that the details of the mosaic include the shadows of animal images, as well as blood dripping from a bull in one panel depicting a hunting or battle scene. with a lion.

new work of art house is located at the Shelby White and Leon Levy Mosaic Archaeological Center in Lod.

Mosaics decorated the villa of a wealthy elite.  Eventually this villa was destroyed by an earthquake.  A close-up is seen showing a wide range of animals in the mosaic.

Mosaics decorated the villa of a wealthy elite. Eventually this villa was destroyed by an earthquake. A close-up is seen showing a wide range of animals in the mosaic.

This space offers guided tours and interactive exhibits in Arabic, English and Hebrew.

The villa of the highest class, decorated with mosaics in the third or fourth century, underwent renovations and additions over the years as different empires took over the region.

Earthquake in 749 AD destroyed the entire villa.

Now that the mosaic has a permanent home, scientists hope it could become a major tourist attraction in the Middle East.  A worker cleans part of a fish mosaic.

Now that the mosaic has a permanent home, scientists hope it could become a major tourist attraction in the Middle East. A worker cleans part of a fish mosaic.

When the mosaic was first discovered, the authorities opened it to the public for one weekend, during which 30,000 people came to Lod to see it.

The mosaics have been exhibited over the years at many institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Archaeological Museum of Pennsylvania, the Louvre in Paris, the Chicago Field Museum and the Hermitage Museum in St. Louis. Petersburg, Russia.

The researchers hope it could become a major tourist attraction in a part of the world often torn by conflict.

A close look at the craftsmanship associated with Roman-era mosaics that have now returned to Israel after being displayed in museums around the world.  This scene depicts a deer and a lion

A close look at the craftsmanship associated with Roman-era mosaics that have now returned to Israel after being displayed in museums around the world. This scene depicts a deer and a lion

“Community tourism in a conflict zone is both an extraordinary experience for the tourist and an opportunity for locals to tell their story to the world,” said Yossi Griver, head of the JLM TIM tourism group that manages the mosaic. museum, the Post reported.

“This is also an opportunity to develop tourism based on a circular economy: people will create a tourism business by telling the world their stories.”

“This mosaic is not Jewish, Christian or Islamic. Everyone might like it.”

While the names of the artisans who created the mosaic are not known, IAA Senior Archaeologist Hagit Torge said it was created by well-known groups of artists who were common in the region and did similar work in other cities.

“It’s a Rolls-Royce,” she said. “This is the most visually impressive mosaic we have found. That’s the whole point of archeology – not just about structures, but about trying to understand the people who built them and lived in them, their social structure and their relationship with the environment.”

Shelby White, who helped create the museum with the Leon Levy Foundation, the IAA and the municipality of Lod, called the new space a “dream come true.”