There are many wonderful archeological, historical, cultural and artistic treasures in Israel. Mosaics in Israel are where all of these treasures combine into one.
Mosaics in Israel were often floors with artistic images that were made out of beautiful stones, glass and pottery. They were pristinely placed in cement into beautiful images and patterns.
There are over 7,000 of these mosaics known of in Israel and constantly more and more discovered. Due to the materials used, there is little wear to them and they reside in beautifully preserved states.
They were introduced to the region by the Romans and continued until around the 11th century AD.
Well-Known Mosaics in Israel
The Bird Mosaic at Caesarea Maritima
The Caesarea Maritima National Park is one of the first stops on most tours and it is quite the astounding introduction! Not only is it huge and stunning right on the Mediterranean Sea, but it holds connections to Pontious Pilate, Peter and Paul. In addition to that, it holds deep connections to the early church, with the early church really growing here, first starting with the grafting in of Gentiles, the first being Cornelias.
In addition to impressive ruins, you will also see what is known as “The Bird Mosaic”. The mosaic was the floor to what researchers believe was the home of a wealthy Christian family during the Byzantine era.
Meggido Prison Mosaic
This may seem like an odd place to find a priceless mosaic, but you never know where you will find treasure in Israel!!
As with many archeological treasures discovered in Israel, this one was found during a building project at the prison. It is not only lovely, it is also very important. This is the first mosaic known to be dedicated to the worship of Jesus and part of the oldest known church. The mosaic dates back to about 230 AD.
So how do we know it was dedicated to Jesus? It says it! In Greek the inscription states “to God Jesus Christ.” It also states the benefactor, an army soldier by the name of Gaianos and the dedication to four women; Frimilia, Kiriaka, Dorothea and Karasta. It also states another benefactor, Akaptos, who is stated as “Lover of God who contributed the altar to the God Jesus Christos, as a memorial.”.
This memorial has only been in pictures for all to see for over twenty years, but that is all about to change. The decision has been made to relocate the prison so the mosaic will no longer reside inside of the prison walls. Look forward to this becoming a stop on tours in the next few years!
A lesser known location in Israel is the town of Lod, a city located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Lod is actually an ancient city, believed to have been founded by the tribe of Benjamin (1 Chronicles 8:12; Ezra 2:33; Nehemiah 7:37; 11:35). It was rei-nhabited after the Babylonians left, noted in Ezra 2:33.
Finally in the New Testament book of Acts, it is named in it’s Greek form as the place where Peter healed the paralytic Acts 9:32-38.
A mosaic that is 300 square feet in size and dates back to the Romans was discovered while widening city street. The mosaic was from around 300 AD and is thought to have been the ornate floor of a private residence. It depicts many animals and fish and two Roman ships.
For years the mosaic went on display in museums around the world, including the Louvre in Paris and museums in New York and Russia.
It is now the prize piece of the just opened Lod Mosaic Archeological Center. You can now add this gorgeous piece of history and art to your itinerary!
The wonderful thing about these mosaics is that these are individual pieces that work together to create something beautiful. We hope that you will make a tour of Israel one of the pieces of the mosaic of your life and you will become part of Israel’s mosaic history very soon! Contact one of our helpful tour operators for your no-pressure proposal today!