Mosaics found in Byzantine monastery in Israel

A salvage excavation in the Negev desert, Israel, has unearthed a beautiful Byzantine-era monastery. What’s left of it are several chambers, pottery, coins and a two large mosaic floors, one with a centred design.

I don’t know if it’s just me that’s noticed, but lately there have been a few Byzantine discoveries being made, like the one in the Turkish Lake, and another one also discovered in Israel with a mosaic.

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Maybe it’s just a coincidence that it’s all happening at the same time, as there are loads buried beneath the earth, but this one stands out as it has a massive mosaic decoration. With white tiles on the outside with diamond-shape styles, the main focus is on the central design, involving red, yellow, blue and green colours.

The other hall also has a large mosaic floor with planner design of what looks like “little trees”. But the border of this floor is beautiful with intricate ribbon-like features.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Archaeologists have been able to date the monastery to the second-half of the 6th century AD due to dates inscribed in the different halls. The central mosaic design has Greek text conveying the abbots’ names: Eliyahu, Nonus, Solomon and Ilrion, framed by different objects. In one section there are two languages used – Greek and Syriac.

As well as the mosaic, excavators found pottery like jars, bowls and amphoraes, along with glass vessels and coins, revealing this monastery was pretty well off.

Byzantine-Israel-Mosaic

The monastery is close to the ancient Byzantine village of Horbat Hur, and was found when the IAA (Israel Antiques Authority) were excavating before the construction of a highway through the region. Good thing they checked then, otherwise this beautiful slice of ancient history would’ve slipped away.

For more, check out Archaeology News Network

*I don’t own these pics.

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One thought on “Mosaics found in Byzantine monastery in Israel

  1. Pingback: Weekly archaeology roundup 4/4/2014 | Unearthed

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