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Happy birthday to 10,000-year-old Jericho

The city of Jericho has turned 10,000 and a 1,200-year-old carpet mosaic has been uncovered as part of the festivities.

Visitors to ancient Jericho got a rare glimpse yesterday of a 1,200-year-old carpet mosaic measuring nearly 900 square meters, one of the largest in the Middle East. The small red, blue and ochre stones laid out in geometric and floral patterns cover the floor of the main bath house of an Islamic palace destroyed by an earthquake in the eighth century.

Excavated in the 1930s and 1940s, it stayed hidden to protect it against sun and rain. A section will be revealed for a week, as part of Jericho’s 10,000th birthday celebrations. It will then be covered until money is found for a permanent shelter, Palestinian archaeologist Hamdan Taha said.

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