An ancient mosaic floor was uncovered along the Israel National Trail 40 years after it was first discovered, the Israel Antiquities Authority reported on Sunday.
The location where the mosaic was uncovered is in the industrial zone of Shoham.
The mosaic, which had been part of a church floor, was part of a church that most likely dated back to the Roman era. The design shows colorful sections with flower designs in them that are likely inspired by anemones that flower in the area.
The clean-up and restoration of the mosaic are being handled by volunteers from the IAA together with residents from Shoham.
“When we first came to the site, the mosaic was covered over with earth and weeds. Over the last month, we have been uncovering and cleaning up the site together with the local community. We are working here among a carpet of flowering anemones."Yair Amitzur
The design was inspired by anemones
“It’s quite feasible that the mosaic artisan sat here and was inspired by the anemones flowering all around him," said archaeologist Yair Amitzur from the IAA. “When we first came to the site, the mosaic was covered over with earth and weeds. Over the last month, we have been uncovering and cleaning up the site together with the local community. We are working here among a carpet of flowering anemones."
“The site was first excavated in the 1980s by Professors Zeev Safrai and Shimon Dar,” said director of the Central District of the IAA Anan Azab. “It seems that the site was settled from the Iron Age or earlier, possibly as early as the Chalcolithic period, and down to the Islamic period.”
“Shoham values its local nature and history, which plays a central role in the leisure time of the local residents," said Shoham Mayor Eitan Patigro. "The new site is located in the heart of the Shoham High-Park Logistic Center, and I have no doubt that it will be a center of attraction for the local residents and for visitors. The proximity to the Israel National Trail and to the Food-Tracks that will be set up in the adjacent parking area, provides an opportunity for a short and interesting walk, at the same time learning about the history of settlement in the Land of Israel and specifically in our region. I am grateful to the Israel Antiquities Authority for the initiative to uncover this fascinating site, and I thank the local pupils who participated in the project.”