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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.