Nicky Davidov, courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority

THE CIRCLE OF LIFE. In the center of the Lod Mosaic’s northern carpet is an octagonal panel featuring a tiger, rhinoceros, giraffe, elephant and bull (or water buffalo). Above them on two mountains sit a lioness and lion, and behind them in the water swims a sea creature. More animals are depicted in the panels surrounding the octagonal panel. Fish and birds appear in the triangular panels. Beneath the octagon in a square panel is an image of two panthers hanging on to the sides of a krater. In other square panels are a rabbit and dog with a bundle of grapes; a lion eating a deer; and a panther attacking a goat. The corner panels depict tridents flanked by dolphins.