Archaeologists have discovered a 216-square-yard Roman mosaic in the Israeli city of Lod.
The Roman mosaic, which dates back to the third or fourth century and which is the largest ever found in Israel, was uncovered in excavations preceding work to widen a road.
The mosaic was found in near-perfect condition.
Animal and fish motifs appear in the mosaic, leading archaeologists to believe that it was the decorative part of a floor in a private villa.
“There were no inscriptions found at all,” said Miriam Avissar, one of the archaeologists who worked at the site. “The floor itself is extraordinary. There are images of all kinds of animals: giraffes, lions, gazelles, different animals attacking others and fish from the Mediterranean region.
“There is also a ship, a merchant ship, in the floor.”
Avissar added that the Israeli Antiquities Authority recommended that the site be turned into a museum.
“But until some source of funding is found for that, nothing can be done,” she said.