Image Gallery: Stunning Byzantine Mosaic

Amazing Mosaic

byzantine mosaic from the byzantine period

(Image credit: Yael Yolovitch, Israel Antiquities Authority)

Archaeologists have uncovered an "extraordinary" mosaic that would've been used as the floor of a public building during the Byzantine Period in what is today Kibbutz Bet Qama, in the B'nei Shimon region council in Israel, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced.

Flanked by peacocks

byzantine mosaic from the byzantine period

(Image credit: Yael Yolovitch, Israel Antiquities Authority)

The mosaic discovered prior to construction of an interstate in Israel, was decorated with geometric structures and amphoras, or vessels for holding wine. The amphoras were also decorated, for instance, one was flanked by a pair of peacocks.

Pair of doves

byzantine mosaic from the byzantine period

(Image credit: Yael Yolovitch, Israel Antiquities Authority)

One of the amphoras was decorated with a pair of doves pecking at grapes on a tendril. The researchers note the mosaic and public building where it was found would not have had any religious purpose, though they aren't sure what the building was used for.

Extraordinary find

byzantine mosaic from the byzantine period

(Image credit: Yael Yolovitch, Israel Antiquities Authority)

"The find of this mosaic is extraordinary, the size of it and the [condition] goes beyond what is usually found," said IAA's Davida Eisenberg Degen. "This is an unusual find."

Wine installation

byzantine wine-making installation

(Image credit: Israel Antiquities Authority)

Other Byzantine Period findings have included an installation that would have been part of a 1,500-year-old wine-making factory discovered underneath a street in the ancient city of Jaffa, now part of Tel Aviv.

Wine-making factory

byzantine wine-making factory

(Image credit: Saar Ganor, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority)

At a site near Hamei Yo'av in Israel, researchers have also found part of a wine-making factory, shown here.

Christian lantern

christian lantern from byzantine period

(Image credit: Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority)

At that same wine-making factory, researchers also found a ceramic lantern fashioned in the shape of a miniature church and carved with crosses; the lantern suggested the centuries-old wine factory was owned by a Christian.