What’s not to love about an enormous ancient mosaic floor that features a menagerie of wild and domestic mammals, a plethora of fish, two sea monsters and a pair of sailboats — all entwined in a complex system of panels and borders? Then there’s the mystery of who commissioned it. The Frost Art Museum at FIU opens its exhibition “Predators and Prey: A Roman Mosaic from Lod, Israel” from 5 to 9 p.m. Feb. 10 at Florida International University, 10975 SW 17th St., Miami.
Fifty feet long and 27 feet wide, this exquisitely detailed stone mosaic floor was discovered (three feet underground) in 1996, just prior to a road-widening project in the town of Lod, near the Tel Aviv airport. Quick intervention by the Israeli Antiquities Authority prevented its destruction, and by 2009 sufficient funds were raised to painstakingly remove, conserve and re-mount the mosaic on rigid panels, allowing it to travel to select international museum sites — including the Frost — before it returns to a visitor center, now under construction in its hometown.