Friday, June 19, 2009

Lod's treasure

RuneE over at Visual Norway posts beautiful benches every Friday and invites us to do the same.
On my bench of today are soldiers waiting for a train at the Lod railway station.
Lod is a city between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, near Ben-Gurion Airport.
Lod has been much in the news this week because . . .

because of its incredibly beautiful 1,700-year-old mosaic! It was discovered in a salvage dig in 1996. But because money could not be found for its conservation, it was covered over with dirt again.
(All 3 mosaic photos are by Niki Davidov, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.)
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Made around 300 C.E., the mosaic is one of the biggest and most magnificent mosaic floors ever found in Israel. Just imagine, ~9 x 17 meters, that's 180 square meters! No people in it, only ships and animals.
The great news is that grant money from America was given and last week the mosaic was re-exposed, after 13 years! It is being lifted up and will go to the lab of the Israel Antiquities Authority for restoration and preservation.
The project will take about two years. Meanwhile a nice park will be built. The mosaic will then be exhibited in situ for the general public and the residents of the area. The citizens of Lod are proud of their mosaic and want it back.
Before they get it back, however, part of the mosaic will be on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Please note that photos are by Niki Davidov, from the Israel Antiquities Authority website.
Unfortunately I was not able to get to Lod to see the mosaic on Thursday and Friday, when it was open for viewing for just two days.
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More information at the IAA website here (where high resolution versions of the photos above can be downloaded) and here.
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20 comments:

PERBS said...

Nice bench! Must be comfortable place to wait for the train. Enjoyed reading the story of the mosaic found in Lod and the United States' part in getting it restored as a work of art. I wish I lived in New York instead of Washington state so I could go see it when it is on display. Maybe it will be on the news and I can say, I had read about it on your blog. Glad you participated with a bench today!

Come see my beautiful bench -- click and enlarge to see the wood grain. It was a bench for sale by a talented craftsman at our farmer's market which has not only fruits and vegetables but hobby stuff too. You will find it on my BENCH blog, not the regular one.

Cloudia said...

This fills me with wonder!!!

Aloha-

Cloudia's Comfort Spiral

kavita said...

1700 years old...wow...i hope this beauty is soon back to its proud owners..people of LOD.
Beautiful bench.
Regards.

Pietro said...

Dina, that is an absolutely amazing mosaic! Only ships and animals, fantastic! I think it must be restored and preserved as soon as possible, and the grant money from America is really a great news. The mosaic in a way reminds me of the sundials (so hard to find them!) I am collecting (images), of course I'd like to be able to photograph it!

Mediterranean kiwi said...

absolutely beautiful finds - i cant believe that they are just covered with dirt again.

RuneE said...

Such findings are very important to everyone, so I'm glad that it will be conserved. I suppose they are of Roman origin? The conservation work will have to be very comprehensive and I hope they succeed. Such findings must gladden an archaeologist's heart! ;-)

And maybe one can watch it from the bench? That would be a Bench with a View!

Kay said...

The bench is wonderful, the mosaic is awesome! The artistry of the ancients always amaze me.

Yaelian said...

Greetings from Helsinki Finland,Dina!
What a beautiful mosaic!

Hilda said...

What a treasure! I'm so happy that they found funding and that the mosaics can be preserved properly now. They're amazing and so beautiful.

at the cottage said...

Beautiful mosaic. What an amazing find - and to keep it covered with dirt until they could afford restoration. WOW. This is so exciting that it will be in New York City on display.

WOW!

mommanator said...

what a wonderful thing that they were not forgotten! and they are truly beautiful!

Saretta said...

What wonderful mosaics! Amazing!

Michele said...

WOW... what a pretty mosaic. The animals and ships are so beautifully crafted. I didn't hear anything about this on the news but then, I don't listen or read much of current events as I have very little time in days that I'm actually awake (about 9 hours a day) but it's so sad to hear that because of monies that is was just reburied and not enjoyed for so many years!

I am glad now though that monies were finally raised to get it alive to show off to the world, it's amazing! I would love to see that in person! Incredible.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Incredible mosaic. What a find?

Robin said...

I hadn't heard that they'd received funding to dig it up again, how wonderful!

Sara said...

What amazing mosaics...if only I lived on the other side of the country; then I could see that portion on display in New York. Or, perhaps a trip to Israel is in order in a couple years' time! I can see the mosaic in situ. Much better I think!

Vagabonde said...

What a truly beautiful mosaic – thanks for bringing it to us. I’m making a note to watch the Metropolitan Museum site to see when they’ll show it so that we may go there. Also thanks for responding to my weather question. I am surprised in a way that it is warmer here in Atlanta than in your town. Today was truly hot, with the humidity it was 100 F or almost 38 C.

Louis la Vache said...

What a fabulous find - and what great news that this marvelous mosaic will be preserved!

JM said...

Awesome mosaics! What a fantastic discovery!

Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

Gorgeous mosaics! Was in Juresh in Jordan this past December and saw some fabulous but wildly unprotected mosaics.