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Photos: Amazing Mosaics in an Ancient Church

Amazing Discovery

(Image credit: Courtesy of Davida Eisenberg Degen, Israel Antiquities Authority )

Israeli archaeologists discovered a mosaic-filled church while probing the site of a future park in the village Aluma. This image shows the atrium, or courtyard, of the church, covered in white tiles.

Marvelous Mosaics

(Image credit: Courtesy of Davida Eisenberg Degen, Israel Antiquities Authority )

The intricate mosaics were created during the 6th century. This shows the colorful floor in one aisle of the basilica.

Christogram

(Image credit: Yoli Shwartz, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority)

This mosaic found in an ancient Byzantine church contains a Christogram, or a monogram of Christ.

Chi Rho

(Image credit: Courtesy of Davida Eisenberg Degen, Israel Antiquities Authority )

The Christogram in the mosaic may look like a cross, but it's actually more like a "chi rho" symbol, which puts together the first two captial letters in the Greek word for Christ.

Byzantine Bestiary

(Image credit: Courtesy of Davida Eisenberg Degen, Israel Antiquities Authority )

Among the animals depicted in the mosaics were leopards (shown here), peacocks and wild boars.

Mosaic Preservation

(Image credit: Yoli Shwartz, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority)

The Byzantine mosaics will be removed and treated by conservators to be displayed in a museum.

Megan has been writing for Live Science and Space.com since 2012. Her interests range from archaeology to space exploration, and she has a bachelor's degree in English and art history from New York University. Megan spent two years as a reporter on the national desk at NewsCore. She has watched dinosaur auctions, witnessed rocket launches, licked ancient pottery sherds in Cyprus and flown in zero gravity. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.