Rarely-seen 9th century carpet mosaic displayed briefly in Jericho

In honor of the 10,000th birthday of the city of Jericho, officials gave visitors a rare glimpse of a 1,200-year-old carpet mosaic measuring nearly 900 square meters (9,700 square feet) which once graced the floor of the main bath house of an Islamic palace. (photo)

The mosaic, consisting of red, blue and ochre square stones laid out in geometric and floral patterns, has been covered in canvas since its discovery in the mid 20th century. The floor was on display for only one week before it was covered again. Officials hope to raise US$2 million to build a roof over the mosaic.