Ancient monastery, large mosaics, found in Israel - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Ancient monastery, large mosaics, found in Israel

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JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel's Antiquities Authority has unveiled a monastery dating back some 1,400 years in the south of the country with impressive mosaic floors that shed light on life in the region during the Byzantine period.

Excavation director Daniel Varga called the find "spectacular" on Tuesday.

He said the monastery, discovered this week, is from the sixth century and that the detailed mosaics are unusual in the area.

Colorful designs of flora, and animals along with inscriptions in Greek and Syriac are depicted in the designs. Names of the monastery's abbots are inscribed in the mosaics.

Pottery and glass artifacts and coins from the Byzantine period were also found at the site.

The church is believed to have been a center for Christian worship at the time.

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