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Byzantine-Period Mosaic Discovered in Israel

Two years ago, a 1,500-year-old mosaic was discovered in an industrial park in Kiryat Gat, Israel, during archaeological excavations conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) with the assistance of local school children.The mosaic, which depicts a map with streets and buildings from ancient Egypt, will go on display to the public starting tomorrow.“This extraordinary mosaic served as the floor of a church dating to the Byzantine period,” said IAA spokeswoman Yoli Shwartz at the Kiryat Gat Industrial Park, where the relic was unearthed.“It was removed from the site for the purpose of conservation, and was recently returned to its permanent location in the industrial park.”. . . IAA archeologists Sa’ar Ganor and Rina Avner said the appearance of buildings on mosaic floors is a rare phenomenon in the country.“The buildings are arranged along a main colonnaded street of a city, in a sort of ancient map,” said Avner. “A Greek inscription preserved alongside one of the buildings exposed in the mosaic indicates that the place which is depicted is the settlement Chortaso (Kartasa), in Egypt.” According to Christian tradition, the archeologist continued, the prophet Habakkuk was buried in Chortaso.


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