Sixth Century Mosaics Found at Tel Shikmona, Haifa,
Source: Digital Journal
Researchers have found magnificent mosaics dating back to the Byzantine
period in the sixth century while excavating at Tel Shikmona in
Israel. The mosaics are thought to be part of an ecclesiastic structure.
The University of Haifa says the excavations are taking place as
part of a project funded by the Hecht Foundation, to expand the
Hecht Park in Haifa, Israel, and finally transform Shikmona into
a public archaeological park.
The statement says archaeological excavations at Tel Shikmona were
conducted in the 1960s-1970s under the direction of the late Yosef
Algavish, on behalf of the Haifa Municipality’s Museum of
Ancient Art. Over the past decades, however, the earlier findings
have been damaged, construction waste has piled up on the site,
and off-road vehicles have ploughed over it.
The current excavation team is directed by Dr. Michael Eisenberg
of the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at the University of Haifa.
They have been working at carefully removing the layers of waste
that piled up over the mosaic floors without causing further damage
to the spectacular artwork, cleaning the floors and preserving them,
and thus prime them for public display. The next step for the team
is excavating a part of the tell (earthern mound or hill) itself
and expanding the excavations to the south of Tel Shikmona.
Although a relatively small site, a wealth of ancient relics has
been unearthed at Tel Shikmona, dating back over two thousand years,
from the Bronze Age to the Byzantine Period. Past excavations have
made an intriguing collection of findings at the site of the tell,
in its surrounding areas and on the beach close by, where pools
and mooring facilities for boats were revealed.
Tel Shikmona is part of the Shikmona National Park in the Shikmona
Nature Reserve, managed by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.
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