In a Tel Aviv suburb, an exceptionally well-preserved Roman floor mosaic depicting fish, animals, birds, and ships has been returned after a decade-long tour of some of the world’s top museums.
It was discovered during highway construction in 1996, but it wasn’t displayed until 2009 after sufficient funding was donated to preserve the 1,700-year-old mosaic.
An Israel antiquities authority statement says the colorful mosaic, 17 meters (55 ft) long and 9 meters (29 ft) wide, may have served as the foyer floor of a wealthy Lod mansion.
According to archaeologist Amir Gorzalczany of the Israel Antiquities Authority, the mosaic’s design was influenced by North African mosaics and did not depict people. Therefore, he said it might have been the work of a Christian or Jew who did not wish to define Roman gods or pagan attributes.
A Lod archaeological center will display the mosaic, which was found there.