Europe

Rare 4th-century mosaic of chariot race found in Cyprus

  • The shadow of Archeologist Fryni Hadjichristofi is cast over a rare mosaic floor dating to the 4th century depicting scenes from a chariot race in the hippodrome, uncovered and shown to the media for the first time Wednesday Aug. 10, 2016, in Akaki village outside from capital Nicosia, Cyprus.  The extraordinary mosaic floor is 11 meters long and four meters wide (36 by 13 feet) depicting scenes of a chariot race in the hippodrome in ancient Rome, in ornate detail.  (AP Photo/Pavlos Vrionides)

    The shadow of Archeologist Fryni Hadjichristofi is cast over a rare mosaic floor dating to the 4th century depicting scenes from a chariot race in the hippodrome, uncovered and shown to the media for the first time Wednesday Aug. 10, 2016, in Akaki village outside from capital Nicosia, Cyprus. The extraordinary mosaic floor is 11 meters long and four meters wide (36 by 13 feet) depicting scenes of a chariot race in the hippodrome in ancient Rome, in ornate detail. (AP Photo/Pavlos Vrionides)  (The Associated Press)

  • The shadow of Archeologist Fryni Hadjichristofi is cast over a rare mosaic floor dating to the 4th century depicting scenes from a chariot race in the hippodrome, uncovered and shown to the media for the first time Wednesday Aug. 10, 2016, in Akaki village outside from capital Nicosia, Cyprus.  The extraordinary mosaic floor is 11 meters long and four meters wide (36 by 13 feet) depicting scenes of a chariot race in the hippodrome in ancient Rome, in ornate detail.  (AP Photo/Pavlos Vrionides)

    The shadow of Archeologist Fryni Hadjichristofi is cast over a rare mosaic floor dating to the 4th century depicting scenes from a chariot race in the hippodrome, uncovered and shown to the media for the first time Wednesday Aug. 10, 2016, in Akaki village outside from capital Nicosia, Cyprus. The extraordinary mosaic floor is 11 meters long and four meters wide (36 by 13 feet) depicting scenes of a chariot race in the hippodrome in ancient Rome, in ornate detail. (AP Photo/Pavlos Vrionides)  (The Associated Press)

  • An archeologist in a shadow, sprays water on a rare mosaic floor dating to the 4th century depicting scenes from a chariot race in the hippodrome, in Akaki village outside from capital Nicosia, Cyprus, on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016. The 4th century mosaic rare is the only one of its kind in Cyprus and one of only handful in the world.  (AP Photo/Pavlos Vrionides)

    An archeologist in a shadow, sprays water on a rare mosaic floor dating to the 4th century depicting scenes from a chariot race in the hippodrome, in Akaki village outside from capital Nicosia, Cyprus, on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016. The 4th century mosaic rare is the only one of its kind in Cyprus and one of only handful in the world. (AP Photo/Pavlos Vrionides)  (The Associated Press)

A Cypriot archaeologist says a mosaic floor dating to the 4th century has been uncovered depicting scenes from a chariot race in the hippodrome, the only one of its kind in Cyprus and one of only a handful in the world.

Cyprus Antiquities Department archaeologist Fryni Hadjichristofi told The Associated Press Wednesday what distinguishes this mosaic is its ornate detail and the fact that it depicts separate scenes from the race involving four chariots, each with four horses.

The mosaic is possibly part of a villa that may have belonged to a wealthy individual or nobleman when Cyprus was under Roman rule. The mosaic, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) west of the capital, Nicosia, also sheds new light on the past of the island's interior, about which little is known.