Rare Roman mosaic, with toga-clad figures discovered in Israel

Archaeologists examining the Roman mosaic discovered in the ancient town of Caesarea (Photo: Assaf Peretz, Israel Antiquities Authority)

Archaeologists in Israel have uncovered a rare multi-coloured Roman mosaic with three toga-wearing figures during excavations in the ancient city of Caesarea.

The mosaic, which dates from the 2nd or 3rd century A. D, measures around 11.5 metres by 26 metres. “With three digits, multicolored geometric patterns and a long inscription in Greek,” says Dr. Peter Gendelman and Dr. Uzi Ad, excavation directors for the Israel Antiquities Authority, in a statement. “The figures, all men, wearing togas, and apparently belonged to the higher class. The central figure of the frontal and the other face of him on both sides.”

The mosaic has been damaged by a building that was built on top of it during the Byzantine period, about 1,500 years ago. The identity of the figures remains a mystery. “If the mosaic was a part of a country house, the digits are the owners,” explained the archaeologists in the statement. “If this is a public building, they might have represented the donors of the mosaic or one of the members of the city council.”


The images on the mosaic depicted with the help of small pieces of stone and brick called tesserae. The mosaic contains about 12,000 tesserae per square meter (3.3 feet 3.3 feet) according to Jacques Nagar, head of the Israel Antiquities Authority Art Conservation Department.

The mosaic was discovered in Caesarea, and the preservation of the work by the Israel Antiquities Authority. (Photo: Assaf Peretz, Israel Antiquities Authority)

The dig, which is receiving financial support from the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation and the Caesarea Development Corporation, is part of the largest conservation and construction project ever in Israel. This relates to the reconstruction in the Crusader-era entrance bridge to Caesarea, and the construction of a promenade from the nearby village of Jisr a-Zarqa to Caesarea National Park. As part of the project, the archaeologists have also unearthed a large, opulent building that dates back to the Byzantine period. The Roman mosaic was discovered underneath the building.

The mosaic is just the latest in a series of dramatic archaeological finds in Israel. Researchers, for example, has recently announced the discovery of a mysterious 1,500-year-old swimming pool and elaborate fountain on the site of an old church in the neighborhood of Jerusalem.


Archeologists also recently discovered a beautiful 1500 year old Christian mosaic that was once the floor of a church or monastery in the old city on the coast of Ashdod-Yam.

A part of the mosaic is damaged by the construction of a Byzantine era of the building. (Photo: Assaf Peretz, Israel Antiquities Authority)

In a great discovery last year by archaeologists in Jerusalem discovered a new section of the Western Wall, which has been hidden for 1700 years.

Also in 2017 is an ancient Greek inscription was found on a 1500 year old mosaic floor in the vicinity of the Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Experts also believe they have the lost Roman city of Julias, formerly the village of Bethsaida, which was the home of Jesus’ apostles, Peter, Andrew and Philip.

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