Archaeologists have discovered some 7,000 mosaics, many of which have great historical and artistic value, in the borders of the Jewish state. While no small number have been found in synagogues, others have been found in a churches, Roman villas, and other structures. Naama Barak writes:
The art of [making] mosaics arrived in the Land of Israel from Rome around the time of Herod the Great 2,000 years ago. They were continuously created [there] through the 11th century, leaving us with documentation of Roman, Byzantine, and early Arab culture in the area.
Despite [their] great variety, many of the mosaics shared similar qualities, patterns, and styles over the centuries—so much so that in many cases it’s not possible to date the mosaics based only on the artwork. Archaeologists must make use of the surrounding digs and inscriptions to determine their age.
“There are many mosaics with geometrical patterns that get repeated for hundreds of years. You can recognize the same style of mosaic that moves on from a synagogue to a church and then to a public building. It’s the same sort of composition that transfers to different buildings,” Jacques Neguer, [the head of the Israel Antiquities Authority’s art conservation department], says. This repetition and transfer of style makes sense, he notes, since mosaic artistry was probably a profession passed down generations in families.
Pictures of nine mosaics, three of which are from synagogues, can be found at the link below.