The highlight of the Israeli Institution of Archaeology projects in Lod is the Ancient Lod Restoration Project. This project will create a touristic district built in the local architectural tradition, with an embedded commercial area, as may be seen in many other historic cities worldwide. This project will be constructed according to sustainability principles and will be based on commercial entrepreneurship.
Unfortunately, the vision of the IIA was not accepted by the Lod Municipality. The municipality has chosen to promote a plan, which aims to develop residential and commercial construction throughout the Old City and leave in the space a few ancient buildings. In our opinion, this plan will seal the door for generations to the possibility of conducting initiated archeological excavations and exposing to the public the remains of Lod's glorious heritage from the Roman period, the Mishnah and the Talmud, the Byzantine period and later periods.
A multicultural hertiage center which will operate on several grounds: An educational center in which classes, workshops, shows, and community events will take place, and a multicultural market that will restore the Khan’s historical functions and act as a center of attraction for visitors and tourists.
The IIA submitted to the mayor of Lod a proposal to implement the above plan in January 2014. The municipality rejected the initiative on the grounds that it intended to develop the site and operate it on its own.
This traditional workshop includes olive oil presses, sesame grinders, and olive oil based soap production facilities. Most of the production facilities were not used since 1948, but are still intact. The Israeli Institute of Archaeology plans to reconstruct all of the facilities and to operate an impressive museum of local traditional crafts and industries. Visitors to this museum will receive a first-hand experience of production processes and will enjoy final products like fresh, pure olive oil, tahini, halva, and soap. The oil-press museum will also tell the story of the Hasuna family, a Muslim Lodian family known for its ideology of Arab Jewish coexistence during the last century.
This center will serve the younger generations of Lod, as well as the local young entrepreneurs. The renovated building will include an events hall, a café operated by people with disabilities, a meeting room, and offices adapted to the needs of the local entrepreneurs. Additional facilities will include professional business consultation and guidance services. The project is promoted with Jindas and the Lod municipality.
The famous Lod mosaic is one of the most impressive Roman mosaics ever found. It was excavated by the late Miriam Avissar of the Israel Antiquities Authority and was presented worldwide in the most prominent museums between 2010 and 2016. The Israel Antiquities Authority plans to build a museum on its site with the contribution of the Leon Levy Fund.
However, the Lod mosaic was not the only one discovered in Lod many other mosaics were found in the same location or are waiting excavation. The Israeli Institute of Archaeology proposes to upgrade of the planned museum to a National Mosaic Museum, which will house the best mosaics found in Lod and Israel, including floors of synagogues, churches, and domestic houses.
This water fountain was built at the end of the 19th century by one of Lod’s wealthiest people. Israeli Institute of Archaeology fully restored and conserved this building. We plan to connect the Sabil to the municipal electricity system to allow its reactivation.