Friday, January 24, 2014

1500 year old mosaic with Christogram

A 1,500-year-old mosaic floor with colorful images of animals, botanical and geometrical designs has been brought to light during the excavation of a Byzantine-era Christian church in southern Israel. 

"The church probably served as a center of Christian worship for the neighboring communities," the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a news release about the find, issued Wednesday. The floor and other remains of the basilica were found over the past three months during preparations for the construction of a new neighborhood at Moshav Aluma, the agency said.

The church was part of a major Byzantine settlement located next to the main road running between Ashkelon on Israel's Mediterranean coast and Jerusalem to the east. Previous excavations along the road had found traces of other communities from the same period, but no churches.

The mosaic that was in the church's main hall features 40 decorative medallions. Some of the medallions depict animals including a zebra, a leopard, a turtle, a wild boar and various types of birds. Three medallions contain Greek inscriptions that commemorate two church leaders named Demetrios and Herakles.

Full story here.


  1. Hi John,
    I have a friend who has shown me a very old and very unusual bible written all on leather, in what I think I have made our to be in South Asian ancient language. The bible is in a metal box, and has been passed down through many generations. Family is not interested in selling it, but are poor and not well educated. If I were to send you some pictures, would you know someone who might be able to tell us where it is from?

    1. Vaska,

      You might try contacting someone at Philadelphia Rare Books. They might have some information for you.