web analytics
November 23, 2014 / 1 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
US Secretary of State John Kerry with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier before P5+1 talks. Nov. 22, 2014.
BREAKING: West About to Cave on Key Iranian Demand
Latest News Stories
Jordanian Prime Minister, Abdullah Ensour

This is in followup to the prayers and moment of silence that the Jordanian Parliament held in honor of the two terrorists.

US Secretary of State John Kerry with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier before P5+1 talks. Nov. 22, 2014.

Is the West about to provide Iran with a major concession in order to reach an “historic” (but empty) deal?

Someone spray painted “ISIS” in Arabic on a memorial for fallen Druse soldiers up north.

Jerusalem Stone Throwers

Government ministers are examining steps the state can take to deter more terrorist attacks.

Yehudah Glick will be undergoing additional surgery on Sunday morning.

After discovering a tunnel from Gaza into the Sinai that extended 1850 meters, Egypt has decide to extend it sterile zone along its 14 kilometer Gazan border from 500 meters to 1000 meters.

The students were attacked as they walked back from Friday night prayers.

Bnei Akiva religious youth members joined forces with far left Meretz youth group members on July 4, 2011, to protest in front of the US Consulate in Israel, calling for the release of Jonathan Pollard. That was years ago, and as of today, Pollard has now spent 30 years in jail. Enough is enough.

The task force will aim at keeping Americans from joining ISIS and other radical Muslim murder gangs.

The cell that planned to kill Lieberman was only of several planning to kill PA official and Israelisץ

Arab pathologist who originally agreed with the findings of Arab bus driver’s autopsy showing suicide, now disagrees.

Secret Service officers arrested a woman with a gun while she was walking along the White House fence around 8:30 p.m. (EST) Thursday at the same time President Barack Obama was addressing the country on the issue of immigration. The woman was identified as April Lenhart, 23, from Michigan. She was wearing a holster and […]

And we can already hear Obama and Kerry telling him not to upset Allah and thank God on the Temple Mount.

The 388 bus line from BeerSheva to Arad was attacked by rock throwing Arabs near Arad.

The IDF foiled a plot by a Hamas terror cell to fire an RPG rocket at the vehicle of Foreign Minister MK Avigdor Lieberman.

More Articles from Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (L) and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The cell that planned to kill Lieberman was only of several planning to kill PA official and Israelisץ

Rabbi David Lau visits Temple Mount activist and assassination target Rabbi Yehuda Glick at Shaarei Tzedek Hospital.

And we can already hear Obama and Kerry telling him not to upset Allah and thank God on the Temple Mount.

Three Palestinian Authority terrorists linked with Hamas planned to murder Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman with a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) attack on his vehicle near his eastern Gush Etzion home, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) revealed Thursday night. It did not say exactly when it uncovered the plot but revealed that the assassination plan was […]

Why not? Obama already lives like he is on his own island.

There were disguised as Christmas gifts, which were to be used to kill Jews.

Wholesale discrimination against Arabs is blatantly illegal and racist but sends a strong message to the police.

The motto of the Druze is to be faithful to the country in which they live.

Israel has a tough job trying to correct 20 years of concessions to terror.

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: