Israeli archaeologists unearth 1,800-year-old mosaic

Workers from the Israeli Antiquity Authority clean a rare Roman mosaic from the 2nd–3rd centuries at Caesarea National Park. (AFP)
Updated 08 February 2018
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Israeli archaeologists unearth 1,800-year-old mosaic

CAESAREA, Israel: A 1,800-year-old mosaic of toga-clad men dating back to the Roman era has been unearthed in Israel, archaeologists said on Thursday.
The mosaic was discovered during the excavation of a building from the Byzantine period — some 300 years younger than the mosaic it was on top of — in the coastal city of Caesarea.
“The surprise was actually that we found two beautiful monuments from the glorious days of Caesarea,” Peter Gendelman, co-director of excavation for the Israel Antiquities Authority, told Reuters of the building and mosaic.
Caesarea was a vibrant Roman metropolis built in honor of Emperor Augustus Caesar by King Herod, who ruled Judea from 37 BC until his death in 4 BC.
The excavated portion of the mosaic, which the antiquities authority said was 3.5 meters by 8 meters in size, depicts three toga-clad men, as well as geometric patterns and an inscription in Greek, which is damaged.
If the mosaic came from a mansion, the figures could have been the owners, or if it was a public building, they may have been the mosaic’s donors or members of the city council, Gendelman said.
The mosaic was of a high artistic standard, with about 12,000 stones per square meter, the antiquities authority said.
Israel is undertaking the largest conservation and reconstruction project in the country in the Caesarea National Park, the antiquities team said. The project aims to reconstruct a Crusaders-era bridge.


UN: Daesh kills 6 captives in Libya

Updated 18 min 42 sec ago
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UN: Daesh kills 6 captives in Libya

  • The town is south of the coastal city of Sirte, a former Daesh-held bastion
  • Libya plunged into chaos after the 2011 uprising and is now governed by rival administrations based in country’s east and west

BENGHAZI, Libya: The UN mission to Libya says Daesh militants have killed six people captured during an attack on a small town in October.
The UN statement late Monday condemned the killing as “particularly abhorrent,” without providing further details. The six were captured on Oct. 28 during an attack on the town of Al-Fuqaha.
The town is south of the coastal city of Sirte, a former Daesh-held bastion.
The attack underscored the volatility of Libya’s central region, where Daesh and other armed groups, including some from neighboring Chad, operate as highway robbers or attack patrols of the self-styled Libyan National Army.
Libya plunged into chaos after the 2011 uprising and is now governed by rival administrations based in country’s east and west.