IDF Unearths 1,500-Year-Old Mosaic

Stand for Israel  |  August 1, 2022

IDF unearths ancient mosaic floor
(Photo: GIlad Stern/Israel Antiquities Authority)

Whenever ancient history is unearthed in Israel, it brings joy to our hearts that history has once again come alive – as only Holy Land history can. The latest archaeological findings in Israel, however, were discovered by brave men and women busy defending Israel. Our friends at The Jerusalem Post report on the 1,500-year-old mosaic, once the floor of an ancient church, discovered by IDF soldiers:

“In this context,” explained Issy Kornfeld, director of the excavation on behalf of the IAA, “the Israel Antiquities Authority, together with the Nature Defense Forces program, initiated an educational project, whereby this impressive site was re-opened and cleaned up under the guidance of the Israel Antiquities Authority Community Educational Centre.”

The convent was first discovered by Dr. Uzi Dahari and Dr. Yehiel Zelinger of the IAA in the early 2000s, but it was eventually re-buried for its own protection. “In the original excavation,” said Kornfeld, “two buildings were uncovered, one of which was a church paved with a colorful mosaic depicting faunal and vegetal scenes, an entrance hall, the nuns’ dormitories, hermit cells, a tower with rooms and a crypt, an underground burial complex. The other building included a kitchen, a refectory (dining hall) and an inn for pilgrims.”

According to Kornfeld, “As often in the ancient world, the convent was erected here, commemorating an ancient tradition, possibly of the burial place of Hannah, mother of the prophet Samuel…”

“The excavation is an example of officers taking responsibility for the environment and carrying out meaningful activity, exposing and conserving the ancient site – archaeologists together with officers and soldiers who are the citizens of tomorrow – thus enabling us to experience and connect with our country’s heritage…”

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