Mind-blowing 1,600-year-old biblical mosaics paint new picture of Galilean life

editor Friday 13 July 2018 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email Printer friendly

By Amanda Borschel-Dan.. With its rich and vivid finds, Byzantine-period synagogue at Huqoq busts scholars’ earlier notions of a drab Jewish settlement in decline. In its eighth dig season, the vibrant mosaic flooring of a fifth century synagogue excavated in the small ancient Galilee village of Huqoq continues to surprise. The 2018 Huqoq dig has uncovered unprecedented depictions of biblical stories, including the Israelite spies in Canaan. [Photo top right: Female face in Huqoq mosaic. A monumental synagogue building dating to the Late Roman period (ca. 4th-5th centuries C.E.) has been discovered in archaeological excavations at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee. Photo by Jim Haberman/Flash90]. 

With its rich finds, the Byzantine-period synagogue busts scholars’ preconceived notions of a Jewish settlement in decline.

“What we found this year is extremely exciting,” University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Prof. Jodi Magness told The Times of Israel, saying the biblically based depictions are “unparalleled” and not found in any other ancient synagogue. “The synagogue just keeps producing mosaics that there’s just nothing like and is enriching our understanding the Judaism of the period,” said Magness. Read the full story.



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