The mosaic depicts streets and building of ancient Egypt in great detail
A complex, multi-colored mosaic map, which beautifully depicts streets and buildings of ancient Egypt, has been discovered in an Israel. The mosaic will be displayed for the first time in front of public during a festival held on October 1.
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The Egyptian mosaic is made of at least 17 different colors of tiles and was recovered from the floor of an early Christian church in Qiryat Gat. The church could not survive but the mosaic found under its floor was restored after the excavation.
The artwork features streets and buildings arranged along a main colonnaded street of an ancient Egyptian town of Chortaso. The discovery was made two years ago by archeologists at Israel Antiquities Authority with the help of local school children and employees from Qiryat Gat industrial park.
“The appearance of buildings on mosaic floors is a rare phenomenon in Israel,” said archaeologists Sa‘ar Ganor and Dr. Rina Avner of the Israel Antiquities Authority. “The buildings are arranged along a main colonnaded street of a city, in a sort of ancient map.”
“A Greek inscription preserved alongside one of the buildings exposed in the mosaic indicates that the place which is depicted is the settlement Chortaso, in Egypt. According to Christian tradition, the prophet Habakkuk was buried in there. The appearance of this Egyptian city on the floor of the public building in Qiryat Gat might allude to the origin of the church’s congregation”.
According to the authority, two sections of mosaic have been preserved. One depicts animals such as rooster, deer, birds and a special goblet with red fruits while the other portrays Nile River landscape alongside multi story buildings and streets. The buildings are portrayed in detail and show everything attached to them from balconies, galleries to roofs and windows.
“The investment in the raw materials and their quality are the best ever discovered in Israel.” Ganor said.
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The mosaic sections will be unveiled during a festival named “Factories from Within” taking place at Qiryat Gat industrial park on Sukkot holiday. Besides music and live theater, it will provide general public a rare opportunity to peek into this remarkable piece of art and to enjoy the journey to this unique hidden world.