web analytics
March 28, 2015 / 8 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Highway Construction Uncovers Spectacular 1500-Year-old Mosaic

The most unexpected benefits from extending Israel’s north-south superhighway has been a wealth of archaeological discoveries, the latest being a spectacular mosaic from the 4th-6th centuries.
Spectacular colorful 1,500-year-old mosaic discovered on route of new  highway to be built north of Be'er Sheva

Spectacular colorful 1,500-year-old mosaic discovered on route of new highway to be built north of Be'er Sheva
Photo Credit: Israel Antiquities Authority: Yael Yolovitch

Excavations on the route of a new superhighway north of Be’er Sheva have uncovered a spectacular 1,500-year-old mosaic in the field of a kibbutz, providing vacationers for those with an extended Shavuot holiday to view the latest discovery.

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) and Cross-Israel Highway Company, which operates “Kvish 6,” or Highway 6,  is opening  the excavation free of Charge on Thursday morning until noon, when schools and man Yom Ha’atzmaut government offices are closed as an extra day off following Shavuot. The Jewish holiday, also known as Pentecost, is celebrated only one day in Israel but two days outside the country.

The colorful dating to the Byzantine period between the 4th and 6th centuries was exposed in recent weeks in the fields of Kibbutz Bet Kama, located approximately 15 miles north of Be’er Sheva and 50 miles south of Tel Aviv.

During the Byzantine period Jewish and Christian settlements in the region were located next to each other. A synagogue and ritual bath (mikveh) were exposed in two nearby ancient Jewish communities

Before road builders can start getting ready to pave the extension of the highway from north of Beit Kama to a junction only 10 miles north of Be’er Sheva, excavations are carried out to determine if there are historical treasures underground. The archaeological site covers 1.5 acres on kibbutz farmland.

Several astounding finds already have been declared by the IAA, but the mosaic is one of the most spectacular of its kind in the country.

The main building at the site was a large hall 12 meters long by 8.5 meters wide and its ceiling was apparently covered with roof tiles. The hall’s impressive opening and the breathtaking mosaic that adorns its floor suggest that the structure was a public building.

The well-preserved mosaic is decorated with geometric patterns and its corners are enhanced with amphorae – jars used to transport wine – a pair of peacocks, and a pair of doves pecking at grapes on a tendril. These are common designs that are known from this period; however, what makes this mosaic unique is the large number of motifs that were incorporated in one carpet.

Pools and a system of channels and pipes between them used to convey water were discovered in front of the building. Steps were exposed in one of the pools and its walls were treated with colored plaster, known as fresco.

Archaeologists in the Antiquities Authority are still trying to determine the purpose of the impressive public building and the pools whose construction required considerable economic resources.

The site seems to have consisted of a large estate that included a church, residential buildings and storerooms, a large cistern, a public building and pools surrounded by farmland. Presumably one of the structures served as an inn for travelers who visited the place.

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Highway Construction Uncovers Spectacular 1500-Year-old Mosaic”

  1. Gil Gilman says:

    Love these antiquities posts.

  2. What an amazing find!

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu to Release Frozen Palestinian Authority Tax Revenue
Latest News Stories
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

The PA hasn’t changed anything on their end, so why did Netanyahu suddenly change his policy?

Netanyahu and Saudi King Salman.

Obama’s “two-state” phobia shows how much he and his experts do not understand the Middle East.

Rice

Kosher for Passover? Depends who you ask.

The main suspect confessed to passing on information to Syria through the Internet.

Has anyone asked Obama why Netanyahu should even think about agreeing to a Palestinian Authority country?

A U.S. Air Force F-15 warplane dropped approximately 60,000 leaflets over the Syrian city of Raqaa to discourage people from joining the Islamic State (ISIS), the Pentagon revealed Thursday. The “Military Information Support Operations,” propaganda campaign was carried out last week and was the first time the United States has used the tactic in Syria. […]

Israel reportedly wants to change the names to Hebrew, which would affront Muslim sensitivities.

The non-binding vote approves funds for imposing sanctions if Iran violates a deal.

Congress is ‘fed up’ with being left in the dark on the Iran negotiations

While there’s not much snow left, there are bike trails, hiking trails and extreme mountain sleds.

The White House says another foreign policy failure proves Obama is doing something right, but it not clear exactly what.

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday he supports Saudi Arabia’s attack on Iranian-backed Huthi rebels in Yemen Saudi Arabia has been joined by other oil-rich states, including Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the Gulf States, all of whom said that “they “have decided to answer the call of President Hadi to protect Yemen and his […]

The former US envoy to the United Nations writes in the NY Times that bombing Iran is the only way to stop a nuclear arms race.

More Articles from Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
Netanyahu and Saudi King Salman.

Obama’s “two-state” phobia shows how much he and his experts do not understand the Middle East.

Druze from the Golan Heights gather in the village of Majdal Shams requesting that the area to revert to being under the authority of the Syrian government.

The main suspect confessed to passing on information to Syria through the Internet.

Has anyone asked Obama why Netanyahu should even think about agreeing to a Palestinian Authority country?

Israel reportedly wants to change the names to Hebrew, which would affront Muslim sensitivities.

The non-binding vote approves funds for imposing sanctions if Iran violates a deal.

The White House says another foreign policy failure proves Obama is doing something right, but it not clear exactly what.

The former US envoy to the United Nations writes in the NY Times that bombing Iran is the only way to stop a nuclear arms race.

Authorities have ruled out terror but don’t know of the co-pilot’s motives.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/highway-construction-uncovers-spectacular-1500-year-old-mosaic/2013/05/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: