>A Roman-era Mosaic Floor

>Photo: Roman-era Mosaic Floor

A news report from The New Times:

The late-Roman-era mosaic floor, one of the largest and finest in Israel, was unveiled by the authorities last week for just the second time since it was discovered 13 years ago in the dilapidated eastern section of this poor town near the international airport, south of Tel Aviv.

Some 1,700 years old, the magnificent tiled floor spreads over almost 2,000 square feet, shaded from the harsh summer sun by a thin awning and surrounded by a canvas fence. A panoply of colorful depictions of birds, fish, exotic animals and merchant ships, the mosaic conjures up an intriguing reminder of Lod’s more glorious past.

The archaeologists of the Israel Antiquities Authority believe the mosaic, which lacks any inscriptions, was commissioned by a wealthy individual who owned a grand villa here. Lod, which is mentioned in the Bible, was an important center in ancient times, and this part of it is known to have been a neighborhood of the rich.

Lod was first mentioned in a list of cities in Canaan, said to have been drawn up by an Egyptian pharaoh in 1465 B.C. Its central location on the coastal plain made it an important hub of ancient Jewish scholarship and a center for traders.

Read the article in its entirety clicking here.

The city of Lod appears in the Bible as Lydda. The name of the city appears at Karnak in a list of Canaanite cities conquered by Thutmose III, pharaoh of Egypt (1465 BCE). The city also appears in the New Testament. Lydda was the place where Peter healed a man named Aeneas who was paralyzed and bedridden for eight years (Acts 9:32-35).

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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