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Rare Mosaic Showing
Ancient Egyptian Map Found in Israel

Mosaic dating about 1,500 years had been uncovered on the floor of an early Christian church in Kiryat Gat.

Sep 29, 2015

Workers of the Israel Antiquities Authority conserving the mosaic.
Photographic credit Nikki Davidov, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

A mosaic about 1,500-years-old that unusually shows a map, rather than just images of people, gods or animals,
was found in the southern Israeli town of Kiryat Gat, the Israel Antiquities Authority said Tuesday.

The map, featuring streets and buildings arranged along a main colonnaded street, is of the ancient Egypt town of Chortaso, according to an inscription in Greek still visible alongside one of the buildings shown in the mosaic, say the archaeologists involved in the excavation, Sa'ar Ganor and Dr. Rina Avner of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The mosaic had been part of the floor of a church dating to the Byzantine period, which has not survived, the IAA says. Nor is all of the mosaic still in place.

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