1,500-year-old Christian Mosaic Uncovered in Israel
Archaeologists in Israel have uncovered a stunning 1,500-year-old Christian mosaic that was once the floor of a church or monastery.
Experts including a team of researchers from Tel Aviv University and Leipzig University, found the mosaic during an excavation in the ancient Mediterranean coastal city of Ashdod-Yam, now part of the modern city of Ashdod.
According to the Daily Mail, the tessellated tile work features a four line inscription in Greek, commemorating the builder of the monastery in which it was found.
It also includes the date of its construction according to the Georgian calendar, the first evidence of its use in Israel, which corresponds with 539 AD.
The inscription uncovered on the mosaic reads, “By the grace of God (or Jesus), this work was done from the foundation under Procopius, our most saintly and most holy bishop, in the month Dios of the 3rd indiction, year 292.”
According to Dr Leah Di Segni, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, “This is the earliest appearance of the use of the Georgian counted in Israel, many years before it is used in Georgia itself.”
This is the third season of excavations being held in the region, and footage of the dig has been released by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).
The IAA is now raising funds to continue excavation of the area.