1,400-year-old glass mosaic restored to its original state in Israel

  1. Mon Jan 28, 2:48 PM

    By Rory Kress, The Associated Press

    JERUSALEM - Experts have restored a 1,400-year-old glass mosaic glowing in gold, recovered from a site next to the Sea of Galilee, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Monday.

    The mosaic panel is believed by the Israel Antiquities Authority to be the only one of its kind in the world due to both the quality of its preservation, given its age, and its gleaming, gilded craftsmanship indicating Christian origins.

    "It's a unique find, a piece of art," Joseph Patrich, professor of archeology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. "It's in its original state," Patrich said, because the panel fell face down, protecting its green, blue and gold facade from debris and damage.

    The mosaic was discovered in 2005 in Caesarea, an ancient city on the western coast of the Sea of Galilee known for its ancient Roman, Byzantine and Crusader ruins. During excavation of a palace, the original floor was exposed, revealing the panel lying face down in one of the larger paved mosaics.

    Detached from the floor in a risky operation, conservationists were then faced with the task of removing centuries of dirt and fire damage from the destruction of the palace in the late Byzantine Era in late 6th or early 7th century AD, Patrich said.

    The mosaic is particularly important because the small coloured tiles forming it feature two styles of tiling: gold glass and the more traditional multicoloured, opaque glass commonly associated with mosaics, he said. The tiles depict two motifs, crosses and eight-petaled rosettes.

    The owner and origin of the palace in which the panel was found is unclear - all that is known is that the residents were likely Christian, experts said. The original role of the restored panel also remains unknown.

  2. WOW! How cool is that???
  3. Amazing ! I love Byzantine art and it's always exciting to see new archaeological finds.
  4. Here's another photo I found of it on National Geographic
  5. I love it when you hear about pieces of history being found and restored.