A 7th-century mosaic at Hisham Palace, near the West Bank city of Jericho, Palestine, is unearthed for and displayed for the first time in its entirety to the public. The impressive mosaic covers 827 square metres.
Archaeologists removed the protective cover from one of the largest floor mosaics in the Near East. It has been done only for one day, before the artwork undergoes a US $13 million Japanese funded project to protect it and exhibit it to visitors in future.
The mosaic consists of geometric and floral patterns in vibrant red, blue and ochre stones. It covers the floor of the main bath house of an Islamic palace, destroyed in 8th century by an earthquake, located near the biblical town of Jericho.
The mosaic depicts 38 scenes in 21 colours. It was excavated in the 1930s and 1940s and remained hidden under canvas and soil for protection. It is scheduled for re-opening to the public next year after a protective roof is constructed over it.