In Israel, before any construction operation can begin, the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) conducts an investigation in order to ensure no valuable pieces of ancient history are lost before they can be discovered. This practice is paying off in a big way after an Ancient Roman mosaic was found during such an investigation. Funnily enough, it was found on the future site of a new mosaic museum.
The museum is being constructed in the city of Lod, about 10 miles from Tel Aviv. From 1996 to 2009 archaeologists worked to uncover the “Lod mosaic,” one of the largest and best preserved mosaics found in the country. The images depict land animals, fish and two Roman ships.
While the team was excavating the area that will become the visitors’ center of the museum, at a site which was once a villa belonging to a wealthy Roman merchant, they unearthed another piece of the 1700-year-old mosaic tiled floor.
In 2015, another mosaic that depicts a bird was found in the surrounding area of the villa. This mosaic will also be put on display when the new Shelby White and Leon Levy Lod Mosaic Center finally opens, in 2019.