Lod mosaic

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The Lod mosaic was discovered in Lod, Israel in 1996. The mosaic is believed to have been commissioned for a private villa in the fourth century, when the city was the Roman colony Lydda.

The absence of human figures, rare in Roman-era mosaics, may indicate that the mosaic was commissioned by a Jew who observed the Biblical prohibition of graven images.

The central panel depicts an assortment of African animals. The rocky outcrops on which the lions are perched may be interpreted as the mountains of Ethiopia. They flank a body of water inhabited by a mythical sea monster known as a cetus, the same creature that swallowed the Biblical Jonah.
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Weight (mg/sq in)68
Made inFrance
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