Unique 4th century mosaic of chariot race found in Cyprus
A mosaic floor dating to the 4th century and depicting scenes from a chariot race in the hippodrome has been uncovered, the only one of its kind in Cyprus and one of only a handful in the world, a Cypriot archaeologist said Wednesday.
|The mosaic depicts a chariot race at a hippodrome with one standing charioteer drawn by four horses. |
In total it shows four chariots in the race [Credit: Eleni Papadopoulou]
|Archaeologist work on a rare mosaic floor dating to the 4th century depicting scenes |
from a chariot race in ahippodrome [Credit: Pavlos Vrionides/AP]
Most of the important ancient finds on the island are located near the coasts, where cities and towns flourished in antiquity. The earliest village found in Cyprus dates as far back as the 10th millennium B.C.
A small piece of the mosaic was first discovered by an area farmer tilling his land back in 1938. Authorities marked the area, but full-fledged digs didn't proceed until almost 80 years later because of work at many other sites the Antiquities Department had prioritized, said Hadjichristofi.
Hadjichristofi said the area, abutting a river, has long been known for its fertile ground and bountiful orchards.
|The mosaic was unearthed in Akaki village near the capital Nicosia, Cyprus|
[Credit: Eleni Papadopoulou]
"We know that Cyprus was once wealthy, the latest discoveries confirm this," she said.
Last month, crews working on a sewage system in the coastal city of Larnaca discovered another rare Roman-era mosaic depicting Hercules' Labours.
Author: Menelaos Hadjicostis | Source: The Associated Press [August 10, 2016]