Remains of early Byzantine church, mosaic floors discovered in Syria

A large early Byzantine mosaic was uncovered in the northern part of Syria during the course of excavation works carried out in Uqeirbat archaeological site located at about 65 kilometers north of the central province of Hama.

Remains of early Byzantine church, mosaic floors discovered in Syria
Credit: SANA

According to the Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums (DGAM), the gigantic mosaic measures some 450 square metres making it the second largest mosaic, after Tayebt al-Imam’s mosaic, found in Syria.

Remains of early Byzantine church, mosaic floors discovered in Syria
Remains of early Byzantine church, mosaic floors discovered in Syria
Credit: SANA

The mosaic is part of a church floor that dates back to the fifth century AD and depicts various religious scenes, according to DGAM director Mahmoud Hamoud.

Remains of early Byzantine church, mosaic floors discovered in Syria
Remains of early Byzantine church, mosaic floors discovered in Syria
Credit: SANA

“The scenes show a variety of rare geometric, vegetative and animal forms with known religious connotations, including peacocks, hippos, terrestrial pigeons, sheep and deer, as well as the life-tree scenes of fertility and renewability,” said Dr. Hamoud.

Remains of early Byzantine church, mosaic floors discovered in Syria
Remains of early Byzantine church, mosaic floors discovered in Syria
Credit: SANA

The mosaic contains 14 written texts in the Greek language placed within geometric frameworks in which the names of people who financed the work were mentioned.

Remains of early Byzantine church, mosaic floors discovered in Syria
Credit: SANA

The church where the mosaic was discovered consists of three sections separated by columns: a main central area and two pavilions to each side. The church walls were built of hard limestone, parts of which still exist.

The Uqeirbat archaeological site was discovered three months ago after the Syrian Arab army was combing the area of Dash terrorists’ remnants who informed the DGAM about the find. Since then, the Directorate had been continuously working to uncover the mosaic which was removed and transferred to Hama National Museum.

Source: Syrian Arab News Agency [April 26, 2018]

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