: An ancient synagogue building from the Late Roman period (around the 4th-5th centuries CE) has been discovered in Israel Antiquities Authority archaeological excavations at Huqoq in the Galilee
. Huqoq is an ancient Jewish village located approximately two to three miles west of Capernaum and Migdal (Magdala). The excavations revealed portions of a mosaic floor decorating the interior of the synagogue building. The mosaic, which is made of tiny colored stone cubes of the highest quality, includes a scene depicting Samson
placing torches between the tails of foxes, as related in the book of Judges 15
. In another part of the mosaic, two human faces (likely female) flank a circular medallion with a Hebrew inscription that refers to rewards for those who perform good deeds.
Woman's head, inscription in Hebrew.
Only a small number of ancient [Late Roman] synagogue buildings are decorated with mosaics showing biblical scenes. Two other synagogue buildings have scenes with Samson, one of which is at another site a couple of miles from Huqoq. Mosaics are important because of their high artistic quality and the tiny size of the mosaic cubes. The monumental size of the stones used to construct the synagogue’s walls, suggest a high level of prosperity in this village, as the building obviously was very costly.
Under the sponsorship of UNC, Brigham Young University in Utah, Trinity University in Texas, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Toronto, Canada, the excavations are being conducted by Prof. Jodi Magness, David Amit and Shua Kisilevitz of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
NOTE: Ads are automatically served – if you see one that is objectionable, please copy the URL and send it to us.