Debit/Credit Payment

Credit/Debit/Bank Transfer

One of the World’s Most Beautiful Mosaics Return to Israel

September 2, 2022

by: Israel Antiquities Authority

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

After years on display in the world’s most important museums—including the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Louvre in Paris, the Altes Museum in Berlin, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and others—the breathtaking Lod Mosaic, among the most beautiful discovered in Israel or anywhere in the world, along with part of the floor of a late third to early fourth-century mansion, has returned to Lod and will be on public display beginning this summer.

In late June, the Lod Municipality and the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) inaugurated the Shelby White & Leon Levy Lod Mosaic Archaeological Center.

The Lod Mosaic was discovered in 1996 by IAA archaeologist Miriam Avissar during an archaeological dig. It stems from the Roman period, the end of the third century or the beginning of the fourth century AD. Due to the lack of funds to preserve and develop the site for display, the mosaic was recovered at the conclusion of the excavations. Then, in 2009, the IAA acquired funding for its renewed exposure and preservation, and returned it to the site as an archaeological center open to the general public.

Unusual in its quality, construction, contents and state of preservation, the mosaic once served as the foyer floor of a mansion in a wealthy Lod neighborhood from the Roman and Byzantine eras. It is about 17 meters [55.7 ft.] long and about 9 meters [29.5 ft.] wide, and comprises colorful surfaces depicting fruits, mammals, birds, fish, flora and even sailing vessels. Its design was influenced by that of North African mosaics. It is interesting to note that, unlike other mosaics from that era, it includes no depictions of people.

During the construction of the Mosaic Center, the IAA discovered an additional colored mosaic that was part of the mansion’s courtyard. It was also included in the center as part of the visitors’ experience.

The mosaic is located in northeastern Lod, making it easily accessible from Ben Gurion Airport and two major highways linking northern and southern Israel. Its proximity to national traffic arteries will make it a national attraction, placing it on the tourism map along with several of the city’s other historical sites.

The mosaic will be on display for the general public, enabling visitors to see and experience it from various angles while teaching them about Lod’s history, archaeology and mosaic preservation as they enjoy its unique beauty.

Photo Credit: Click on photo to see photo credit

Latest News

Current Issue

View e-Dispatch

PDF Dispatch

Search Dispatch Articles

  • Order