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May 14, 2013 9:36 am

Mosaic Floor Uncovered Near Ancient Jewish, Christian Communities

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The Jerusalem Archaeological Park - Davidson Center. Photo: Nemo/Wikimedia Commons.

A 1,500 year-old mosaic floor dating back to the Byzantine era has been uncovered in near Kibbutz Beit Kama in Israel’s northern Negev desert.

Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) archeologists discovered the mosaic during a dig prior to a highway interchange being built in the area. It was uncovered in an approximately 1.5-acre open field and in remarkably good condition.

The mosaic is decorated with geometric patterns and features designs of peacocks and doves pecking at wine grapes. IAA archeologists consider the mosaic unique because of the large amount of motifs in the design.

“These designs are common and known to be from this period, but the mosaic is unique due to the large number of motifs incorporated together,” Dr. Yigal Yisrael, the IAA’s chief southern district archeologist, told Israel Hayom.

Yisrael added that the region where the mosaic floor was located was home to Jewish and Christian communities who lived side by side during that era.

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