A magnificent 1,500-year-old mosaic floor has been uncovered by archeologists near Kibbutz Beit Kama in the south, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Sunday.
The mosaic was the most outstanding find in a Byzantine-era village unearthed in the Negev during a survey conducted prior to construction of a highway.
The village, which thrived from the 4th through 6th centuries C.E., encompassed about six dunams – or an acre and a half – and was discovered under the fields of the kibbutz. Among the finds was a public building measuring 12 meters by 8.5 meters (about 40 feet by 26 feet) containing the mosaic floor. Archaeologists assume the building was a public one due to its size and relative opulence.
The colorful mosaic includes geometric motifs and features amphorae – wine containers— in the corners, as well as a pair of peacocks and a pair of doves pecking at grapes on grapevines. The combination of so many motifs in one mosaic is unusual, say Israel Antiquities Authority officials.
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