Archaeologists in Israel discovered a rare and beautiful Roman mosaic floor in the Mediterranean port city of Caesarea on Thursday that could have been part of a public structure or a grand private house. The ancient piece dated from the second or third century A.D. and measures over 3.5 by eight meters or 11 by 26 feet, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).
Uzi Ad, one of the directors of the excavation, said that they uncovered a mosaic floor of a Roma building from 1,800 years ago. He described the mosaic as of high-quality and colorful with three figures, as noted by UPI.
They are all males, wear togas, and probably belong to the upper class. Two men face the central figure on either side.
Who could be the figures on the mosaic? The characters could have been the owners if the mosaic was part of the mansion. However, if it was a public building, they might have represented the donors of the mosaic or members of the city council, according to the archaeologists.
The archaeologists also found an ancient Greek long inscription on the mosaic. However, it was damaged by the Byzantine building, which was constructed on top of it. Dr. Leah Di Segni, an epigrapher from the Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology examined the inscription.
Caesarea is a town in north-central Israel about 50 kilometers north of Tel Aviv. It was built by Herod the Great about 2,030 years ago. The city became an administrative center of Judea Province of the Roman Empire and the capital of the Byzantine Palaestina Prima province during the classic period.
Guy Swersky, the vice chairman of the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation, said that old Caesarea never stops surprising, fascinating, and thrilling them. He further stated that it always reveals slices of a history of worldwide significance. He described the ancient mosaic as amazing and a unique find in Israel, as noted by Times of Israel.
The ancient mosaic was discovered during the IAA archaeological excavation for the construction of the promenade that will extend from the town of Jisr a-Zarqa to the Caesarea National Park. It will be under the development of the Caesarea Development Corporation.