Archaeologists in Syria discovered a large Roman-era mosaic in the historic town of Rastan, AP News reported Wednesday.
The archaeologists described the excavation as being the “most important archaeological discovery” since the conflict in Syria began in 2011, according to AP News. Groups have reportedly not attempted significant archeological digs in Rastan since the start of the conflict.
A rare Roman-era mosaic has been unearthed in Al-Rastan, Syria. Situated between two houses, it is an important discovery after hardline groups have destroyed many relics and others have been looted by smugglers during the past 11 years of conflict in the country pic.twitter.com/UbMGuJkShp
— Reuters (@Reuters) October 13, 2022
“What is in front of us is a discovery that is rare on a global scale,” Dr. Humam Saad, the associate director of excavation and archaeological research at Syria’s General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums, told AP. The mosaic portrays scenes from the Trojan War and the ancient Roman god Neptune, and the depictions are “rich in details,” the outlet noted.
Archaeologists found the mosaic in an old building the Directorate was in the process of excavating, AP reported. Archeologists are unsure what type of building might have housed the work of art originally, as the mosaic covers at least 1,300 square feet and is believed to span far beyond the excavation site. (RELATED: ‘Frozen In Time’: Incredible 3,300-Year-Old Discovery Revealed)
“There are other buildings, and it’s clear that the mosaic extends far wider,” Sulaf Fawakherji, Syrian actress and a member of the Nabu Museum’s board of trustees, told the outlet. “Rastan historically is an important city, and it could possibly be very important heritage city for tourism.”