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Jericho unveils massive ancient mosaic carpet

10-12-2010 09:06 BJT

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Visitors to Jericho are getting a rare glimpse at what archaeologists say is the largest carpet mosaic in this part of the world.

It measures nearly 900 square meters and shows patterns and flowers in blue, ochre, and red. Let's visit the ancient city and have a look.

The mosaic covers the floor of the ruins of the main bath house of an 8th-century Islamic palace outside Jericho.

Since being briefly excavated in the 1930s, the mosaic has largely remained covered by canvas and sand to protect it against sun and rain.

Starting on Sunday, a small section is being laid bare for a week, as part of the West Bank town's 10,000th birthday celebrations.

Eyad Hamdan, director of Ministry of Tourism in Jericho, said, "We uncover it for the celebration of Jericho 10,000, we want to show this pathway and to see these beautiful carpets for the celebrations, it's just for many days not more."

Palestinian archaeologist Hamdan Taha says the mosaic will then be covered up again until the money is found for a permanent weather shield.

Visitors look at part of a mosaic, measuring around, 9,700 square feet (900 square
meters), in ruins of an 8th-century Islamic palace outside the West bank town of
Jericho, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010. Visitors to ancient Jericho are getting a rare
glimpse at what archaeologists say is the largest carpet mosaic in the Middle East.

Biblical Jericho attracts a steady flow of pilgrims, but the small Jordan Valley oasis is making a major push these days to become a magnet for tourists, presenting itself as the oldest city on earth.

Marking the 10,000th birthday Sunday was entirely random, though, with archaeologists saying they could be off by hundreds of years in dating the first human settlement in the area.

Editor:Liu Fang |Source: CNTV.CN

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