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Byzantine Mosaic Unearthed at Ashdod-Yam in Israel
Tuesday, December 12, 2017 11:10:00 AM

Greek inscription is earliest known use of the Georgian calendar, TAU researchers say

A mosaic dating to the Byzantine period has been unearthed by Tel Aviv University and Israeli Antiquities Authority archaeologists in the ancient city of Ashdod-Yam (“Azotus” in Greek), the Times of Israel reported last month. The mosaic, found on the floor of a 1,500-year-old Christian church, bears a Greek inscription recording when the church was constructed — the year 292, according to the Georgian calendar, or AD 539.

Archaeologists led by Prof. Alexander Fantalkin of TAU, Angelika Berlejung of Leipzig University, Balbina Bäbler of the University of Göttingen, and Sa'ar Ganor of the Israel Antiquities Authority say the inscription is the earliest-known use of the Georgian calendar in the world. It is also the first time a Georgian church or monastery has been found on Israel's Mediterranean coastline.

The scholars suggest the mosaic supports historical sources that mention the presence of Georgian bishop and philosopher Peter the Iberian in Ashdod-Yam. The church is thought to have been part of a larger complex.

For more, read the story in the Times of Israel.




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