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February 2, 2008

Echoes of Byzantium


About 1,400 years ago, in what is now called the Bird Palace in Caesarea in what is now Israel, the gold and opaque glass mosaic panel pictured above served as a table.

In the intervening centuries, having fallen face down, its green, blue and gold facade was protected from damage.

During excavation of the palace the original floor was exposed, revealing the panel lying face down on one of the larger paved mosaics.

"Detached from the floor in a risky operation, conservationists were then faced with the task of removing centuries of dirt and fire damage from the destruction of the palace in the late Byzantine Era in late 6th or early 7th century A.D.," said Joseph Patrich, professor of archaeology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in Rory Kress's January 28, 2008 Associated Press story.

"Yael Gurin-Rosen, head of the Israeli Antiquity Authority's glass department, said that the mosaic panel is the first of its kind to be excavated in Israel, and due to the quality of its preservation, given its age, and its gleaming, gilded craftsmanship indicating Christian origins, it is most likely the only one in the world," wrote Nadav Shragai in a January 28, 2008 story on Haaretz.com.

Unearthed in 2005 and restored, the panel is now on display in Caesarea.

February 2, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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God-damned dangling participles.

"Detached from the floor in a risky operation, conservationists were then faced with the task..."

Why was it risky to detach the conservationists from the floor?

What the hell has happened to basic grammar? Anybody with the vaguest comprehension of English composition should know how to avoid putting tripwires like this in front of the reader.

And get the hell off my lawn.

Posted by: Daniel Rutter | Feb 2, 2008 1:38:11 PM

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