Israel unveils Roman-era mosaic found during construction

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Israel unveils Roman-era mosaic found during construction
Journalists stand next to a 1,700-year-old mosaic, which served as the living room floor in a villa during the Roman and Byzantine periods, as it is presented to the public and the press by Israel Antiquities Authority for the first time on November 16, 2015, in the Israeli central city of Lod. The scenes in the impressive mosaic depict hunting and hunted animals, fish, flowers in baskets, vases and birds. Another mosaic, which was discovered and excavated in the northern part of the complex in the early 1990s by the late Miriam Avissar, has been exhibited in recent years in some of the worlds leading museums, including the Metropolitan, the Louvre and the State Hermitage. AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
A worker of the Israel Antiquities Authority cleans a 1,700-year-old mosaic, which served as the living room floor in a villa during the Roman and Byzantine periods, as it is presented to the public and the press for the first time on November 16, 2015, in the Israeli central city of Lod. The scenes in the impressive mosaic depict hunting and hunted animals, fish, flowers in baskets, vases and birds. Another mosaic, which was discovered and excavated in the northern part of the complex in the early 1990s by the late Miriam Avissar, has been exhibited in recent years in some of the worlds leading museums, including the Metropolitan, the Louvre and the State Hermitage. AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
An employee of Israelâs antiquities authority works on a 1,700-year-old Roman-era mosaic floor in Lod, Israel, Monday, Nov. 16, 2015. Archaeologists found the mosaic last year while building a visitorsâ center meant to display another mosaic, discovered two decades earlier at the same spot. The authority said the newly discovered Roman-era mosaic measures 11 meters by 13 meters (36 feet by 42 feet) and paved the courtyard of a villa in an affluent neighborhood that stood during the Roman and Byzantine eras. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
A partial view of a 1,700-year-old Roman-era mosaic floor in Lod, Israel, Monday, Nov. 16, 2015. Archaeologists found the mosaic last year while building a visitorsâ center meant to display another mosaic, discovered two decades earlier at the same spot. The authority said the newly discovered Roman-era mosaic measures 11 meters by 13 meters (36 feet by 42 feet) and paved the courtyard of a villa in an affluent neighborhood that stood during the Roman and Byzantine eras. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
A worker of the Israel Antiquities Authority cleans a 1,700-year-old mosaic, which served as the living room floor in a villa during the Roman and Byzantine periods, as it is presented to the public and the press for the first time on November 16, 2015, in the Israeli central city of Lod. The scenes in the impressive mosaic depict hunting and hunted animals, fish, flowers in baskets, vases and birds. Another mosaic, which was discovered and excavated in the northern part of the complex in the early 1990s by the late Miriam Avissar, has been exhibited in recent years in some of the worlds leading museums, including the Metropolitan, the Louvre and the State Hermitage. AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
A worker of the Israel Antiquities Authority cleans a 1,700-year-old mosaic, which served as the living room floor in a villa during the Roman and Byzantine periods, as it is presented to the public and the press for the first time on November 16, 2015, in the Israeli central city of Lod. The scenes in the impressive mosaic depict hunting and hunted animals, fish, flowers in baskets, vases and birds. Another mosaic, which was discovered and excavated in the northern part of the complex in the early 1990s by the late Miriam Avissar, has been exhibited in recent years in some of the worlds leading museums, including the Metropolitan, the Louvre and the State Hermitage. AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
Employees of Israelâs antiquities authority works on a 1,700-year-old Roman-era mosaic floor in Lod, Israel, Monday, Nov. 16, 2015. Archaeologists found the mosaic last year while building a visitorsâ center meant to display another mosaic, discovered two decades earlier at the same spot. The authority said the newly discovered Roman-era mosaic measures 11 meters by 13 meters (36 feet by 42 feet) and paved the courtyard of a villa in an affluent neighborhood that stood during the Roman and Byzantine eras. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
An employee of Israelâs antiquities authority works on a 1,700-year-old Roman-era mosaic floor in Lod, Israel, Monday, Nov. 16, 2015. Archaeologists found the mosaic last year while building a visitorsâ center meant to display another mosaic, discovered two decades earlier at the same spot. The authority said the newly discovered Roman-era mosaic measures 11 meters by 13 meters (36 feet by 42 feet) and paved the courtyard of a villa in an affluent neighborhood that stood during the Roman and Byzantine eras. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
A worker of the Israel Antiquities Authority cleans a 1,700-year-old mosaic, which served as the living room floor in a villa during the Roman and Byzantine periods, as it is presented to the public and the press for the first time on November 16, 2015, in the Israeli central city of Lod. The scenes in the impressive mosaic depict hunting and hunted animals, fish, flowers in baskets, vases and birds. Another mosaic, which was discovered and excavated in the northern part of the complex in the early 1990s by the late Miriam Avissar, has been exhibited in recent years in some of the worlds leading museums, including the Metropolitan, the Louvre and the State Hermitage. AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
A worker of the Israel Antiquities Authority sits next to a 1,700-year-old mosaic, which served as the living room floor in a villa during the Roman and Byzantine periods, as it is presented to the public and the press for the first time on November 16, 2015, in the Israeli central city of Lod. The scenes in the impressive mosaic depict hunting and hunted animals, fish, flowers in baskets, vases and birds. Another mosaic, which was discovered and excavated in the northern part of the complex in the early 1990s by the late Miriam Avissar, has been exhibited in recent years in some of the worlds leading museums, including the Metropolitan, the Louvre and the State Hermitage. AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
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LOD, Israel (AP) — Israel's antiquities authority on Monday unveiled a 1,700-year-old mosaic floor that archaeologists found last year while building a visitors' center meant to display another mosaic, discovered two decades earlier at the same location.

The authority said the newly discovered Roman-era mosaic measures 11 meters by 13 meters (36 feet by 42 feet) and paved the courtyard of a villa in an affluent neighborhood that stood during the Roman and Byzantine eras. The scenes include hunting animals, fish, vases and birds.

"The quality of the images portrayed in the mosaic indicates a highly developed artistic ability," said Amir Gorzalczany, who directed the excavation.

The new mosaic was found just a few meters (yards) from the first one, in what is today the central Israeli city of Lod.

The authority said the mosaic discovered in the 1990s covered the villa's living room while the newly discovered one was in its courtyard.

The original mosaic has been displayed at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Louvre in Paris, and the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg. It is currently on display at the Cini Gallery in Venice, Italy, and is expected to return to Lod after the visitors' center is complete.

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