First unearthed in 1996 in a rescue excavation in Lod, ancient Diospolis, Israel, this large and extraordinarily detailed mosaic floor has only recently been carefully removed from its site and conserved. Found in a large villa believed to belong to a wealthy Roman, the excellently preserved mosaic floor dates to about AD 300. Two rectangular end panels flank a large square medallion. The medallion and one of the end panels contain depictions of delightful animals and exotic beasts. The remaining panel portrays a fabulous marine scene filled with a profusion of fish and Roman merchant ships.
This glorious mosaic is in America for a limited time before it is returned to Israel, where it will become the focus of an archaeological center in Lod. The Fine Arts Museums is one of only four museums to display this treasure.