Rare 2,000-year-old mosaic unearthed in remote Cyprus
Archaeologists in Cyprus have uncovered a virtually intact floor mosaic that is almost 2,000 years old. The mosaic depicts scenes from chariot races in a hippodrome, a rare discovery and thought to be only one of a handful from the ancient world. The 26-metre long mosaic, thought to be part of a gallery from a 4th century AD mansion, lay undisturbed for centuries until a farmer stumbled upon a mosaic fragment from another part of the mansion in 1937-1938 in a community west of Cyprus’s capital Nicosia. Digging began in 2013 and the full mosaic was seen briefly for the first time in 2016, before authorities covered it up for protection. Recently archaeologists removed the layer of dirt to begin restoration works, but they expect it will take several years until it can be visited by the public. The mosaic’s origin is still a mystery - it may have been part of the home of a rich person, but that will require further study and excavation.