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The Lod Giraffe

First unearthed in 1996 during road construction in Lod (the Biblical Lydda and ancient Diospolis), this large mosaic floor, which dates to about AD 300, measures almost thirteen feet on each side and is the largest mosaic floor to have been discovered in Israel. Two rectangular end panels flank a large square medallion. The medallion and one of the end panels contain depictions of animals and exotic beasts, likely pitted against one another or venatores in the arena. The remaining panel portrays a marine scene filled with  fish and two Roman merchant ships.

The photograph was taken at the Palace of the Legion of Honor (San Francisco), one of four museums in the United States to display the mosaic before being returned to Israel, where it is to be the center piece of an archaeological center in Lod.

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