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

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.