One of the oldest surviving complete Roman mosaics dating from 1,700 years ago, a spectacular discovery made in Lod in Israel, will go on show at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire, UK. The exhibition Predators and Prey: A Roman Mosaic from Lod, Israel is presented in association with the Israel Antiquities Authority and in collaboration with the British Museum, from 5 June – 2 November 2014.
Measuring eight metres long and four metres wide, and in exceptional condition, the Lod mosaic depicts a paradise of birds, animals, shells and fishes, including one of the earliest images of a rhinoceros and a giraffe, richly decorated with geometric patterns and set in lush landscapes. Read more.
The remains of a 1,500-year-old monastery with intact mosaics covering the floor have been uneartehed in southern Israel, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Tuesday (April 1).
The Byzantine complex, which was discovered near Hura, a Bedouin village in the northern Negev Desert, measures 65 feet by 115 feet (20 by 35 meters). It is arranged on an east-west axis, a common feature in Byzantine churches, and a prayer hall and dining room are decorated with elaborate mosaics that show geometric patterns, leaves, flowers, baskets, jars and birds.
These tiles have managed to retain their vibrant blue, red, yellow and green colors over the centuries. Read more.
The Israeli Antiquities Authority unveiled 11 ancient burial boxes Monday that were recovered by the Israeli Police early Friday morning.
Officials say the boxes are 2,000 years old. Some are engraved with designs and even names, giving clues to their origin and contents. The boxes contain bone fragments and remnants of what experts say is pottery buried with the deceased.
The authority says the boxes were recovered last Friday in Jerusalem when police observed a suspicious nighttime transaction involving two cars, four individuals and the 11 boxes. Once police realized the boxes were of archaeological significance, they alerted the Antiquities Authority. It is not yet clear how the suspects got hold of the boxes. Read more.
Located within the fertile plain of the Jezreel valley in northern Israel, the archaeological site known as Ein el-Jarba has been yielding finds that are beginning to tell a story of a people who lived there more than 6,000 years ago, before the pyramids arose in Egypt and before the ancient Canaanites dominated the region.
Archaeologist Katharina Streit, a PhD student with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has been leading a team of archaeologists, students and volunteers through full-scale excavations at the site to uncover evidence of an Early Chalcolithic (or Copper Age) human settlement. Before implements of bronze were even invented, a community with skills enough to produce distinctive pottery, other ceramic ware, and tools made of obsidian, lived and died in this place. Read more.
Excavated for the first time in 2013, the “city of the silver hoard” will see additional excavations in 2014.
Popularly known as the site where archaeologists recently excavated an ancient jug containing a silver hoard, it sits near the border between modern day Israel and Lebanon to the north, in an area that brings to mind the political and military tensions that have so often plagued the border areas of these neighboring countries. Even thousands of years ago, this area figured prominently in conflicts and disputes among ancient players.
Today the location is known as Tel Abel Beth Maacah, an archaeological site that has been identified by biblical scholars as the likely location of an ancient city that, at one time, may have had important Aramean connections. Read more.
Israel’s Antiquities Authority says it is building a national archaeological center to house nearly two million ancient artifacts, including the world’s largest collection of Dead Sea Scrolls.
The authority said Tuesday the center in Jerusalem will serve as a research center for Israeli archaeology and history, and will house a library of some 150,000 books, archives on local excavations from the past century, and conservation and restoration labs. Some 15,000 Dead Sea Scroll fragments, currently in government custody at the Israel Museum, will also be stored there.
The center, designed by Israeli architect Moshe Safdie, is being built next to the Israel Museum and will be inaugurated in 2016. It will eventually serve as the authority’s headquarters.
The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation of Cleveland is funding the project. (source)
A jug containing silver earrings and ingots has been discovered at the ancient biblical city of Abel Beth Maacah in Israel.
Found to the north of a massive structure that may be a tower, the jug and its treasure appear to date back to about 3,200 years ago, long before minted coins were invented, archaeologists said. Curiously, they found no sign that the treasure was hidden, and no one appears to have gone back for it, they added.
"We found it in a small jug leaning against a wall, apparently on a dirt floor," said researchers Robert Mullins, Nava Panitz-Cohen and Ruhama Bonfil in an email to Live Science. "It didn’t seem to have been deliberately hidden in a niche or any other hidey-hole." Read more.
On the outskirts of Jerusalem, archaeologists have discovered the remains of a 2,300-year-old rural village that dates back to the Second Temple period, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced.
Trenches covering some 8,000 square feet (750 square meters) revealed narrow alleys and a few single-family stone houses, each containing several rooms and an open courtyard. Among the ruins, archaeologists also found dozens of coins, cooking pots, milling tools and jars for storing oil and wine.
"The rooms generally served as residential and storage rooms, while domestic tasks were carried out in the courtyards,” Irina Zilberbod, the excavation director for the IAA, explained in a statement. Read more.