Lod Roman Mosaic - Photos Pictures Images { 49 images } Created 15 Jan 2015

Photos, pictures and images of the 3rd cent. AD Roman mosaic from Lod in Israel. It is often forgotten that the Roman Empire ruled all the lands that ran around the Mediterranean sea and that todays political borders did not exist 2000 years ago. Consequently it is not as strange as it may at first sound to find Roman villas in present day Israel. One such villa was discovered in 1996 when construction workers widening Ha-Halutz Street found pieces of mosaic. What emerged after painstaking excavations was the largest, 180 sq. meters(1900 sq. ft), and best preserved Roman mosaic from the Levant or eastern Mediterranean coast. The Lod mosaic dates from the 3rd cent. AD and depicts a myriad of animals, birds and fish against a background of white mosaic tessellation's. Overall the mosaic is designed using geometric panels bordered by geometric mosaic patterns. At the centre of the mosaic is an octagonal panel with African animals depicted in it. Smaller square and triangular panels radiate out from this central panel each containing depictions of more animals. At one end of the mosaic an oblong panel takes up the full width images of fish and a small masted sailing boat. At the other end of the mosaic are panels with hunting scenes. The animals depicted are very very interesting as many would have been unknown to people living in the region. The central scene contains rhinoceros and giraffe, both of which are early depictions of such animals. The fish would have been more familiar to the people living on the shore of the Mediterranean. Archaeologists, Elie Haddad and Miriam Avissar, have suggested that the absence of human figures may indicate that the mosaic was commissioned by a Jew who observed the Biblical prohibition of graven images. The use of a white background and the depiction of African animals is similar to the mosaics of the Villa Romana del Casale in Sicily but the complexity of the craftsmanship is not so accomplished in the Lod mosaics. The lod mosaic is one of the great Roman mosaics left in existence. Its level of preservation is remarkable and its lively depiction of animals and fish is captivating. Having travelled the world to many exhibition centres the Lod mosaic is now on permanent exhibition at the Shelby White and Leon Levy Lod Mosaic Archaeological Centre, Israel. Photos can be downloaded and licensed or bought as photo art prints .

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