web analytics
December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



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
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meet in NY late Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014, ahead of Netanyahu's speech at UN General Assembly  set for the next day.
India May Pull Rug Out From Under Abbas in UN Vote
Latest News Stories

Egypt closed the crossing due the ongoing terror attacks against Egypt emanating from the Gaza Strip.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meet in NY late Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014, ahead of Netanyahu's speech at UN General Assembly  set for the next day.

India may pull its vote in favor of the PA resolution before the UN Security Council and instead choosing abstention.

A drone is targeted. (illustrative)

Arab media report Syria downed an Israeli drone over Quneitra, near the border between the two countries.

Eleven people were injured by a motorist who plowed into a crowd in southern France. The driver yelled "Allahu Akbar" as he attacked. Dec. 21, 2014

Man shouting “Allahu Akbar” drives car into crowd in the French city of Dijon.

Bereaved family says hit-and-run death was terrorism.

Anti-Zionist Arabs don’t always distinguish between Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Elections, and not Netanyahu, raised the minimum wage.

Palestinian Authority head says he can’t stop attacks on Jews.

Oscar-winner “Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport” has been selected for permanent preservation in the Library of Congress by the National Film Registry. The film, released in 2000, documents the rescue of some 10,000 predominantly Jewish children from Nazi-dominated Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia in the months leading up to World War II. […]

Dr. Ben Carson is waiting for God to tell him if he should run for president.

Four arrested in crackdown on anti-assimilation group Lehava.

The decision of Uri Aril’s Tekuma faction to remain in the party and re-start a “Yesha faction” is a blessing.

PM Netanyahu lit the 5th Chanukah candle at the Kotel. We understand that he then sung a beautiful rendition of Maoz Tzur, but we unfortunately don’t have that on video.

It doesn’t pay to be a foreign volunteer soldier in the ISIS army.

This is the first flask of ritually pure olive oil made in 2000 years.

More Articles from Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
Christian Israeli Kay Wilson and Mohammed "Zionist" Zoabi.

Anti-Zionist Arabs don’t always distinguish between Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Rami Levi will have to start paying minimum wage workers more money.

Elections, and not Netanyahu, raised the minimum wage.

Dr. Ben Carson is waiting for God to tell him if he should run for president.

The decision of Uri Aril’s Tekuma faction to remain in the party and re-start a “Yesha faction” is a blessing.

The decision to not publicly light the Menorah in Sydney, epitomizes the eternal dilemma of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.

Is Sydney also going to turn out the lights on Christmas trees?

Are machine gun shots all night long and the death from a “work accident” not enough evidence for the EU court?

The State Dept. re-defines “unilateral” and won’t veto a resolution that does not explicitly ”prejudge” outcome of peace talks.

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: