Ancient Mosaic Depicting Fiery Bible Story Discovered
By Stephanie Pappas | LiveScience.com
A glittering mosaic of colored stones once decorated an ancient synagogue floor with scenes of the Biblical hero Samson getting revenge on the Philistines.
This newly excavated discovery in the ancient Jewish village of Huqoq not only depicts an unusual scene ó Samson tying torches to foxesí tails in order to burn his enemiesí crops ó itís also remarkably high-quality, said dig archaeologist Jodi Magness of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
In a mosaic, "the smaller the cubes, the finer the work," Magness told LiveScience. "Our cubes are very small and fine."
The mosaic decorates part of a synagogue dating back to about A.D. 400 to 500. So far, Magness and her team have excavated only part of the eastern wall of the structure, so they donít yet know how big the synagogue was. But the building appears to be made of large, "beautifully cut" blocks of stone, Magness said, suggesting an expansive structure.
A female face depicted in mosaic on an ancient Jewish synagoge. Archaeologists uncovered this high-quality artwork in June 2012. CREDIT: Jim Haberman
The mosaic, which is incomplete, depicts several scenes. In one, two female faces flank a Hebrew inscription about rewards for people who perform good deeds. In the other, Samson, of the biblical story Samson and Delilah, ties torches to pairs of foxes, an event described in the Book of Judges in both the Christian and Hebrew Bibles. As the story goes, Samson falls in love with a woman of Philistine origin, a people who ruled the city-states of Gaza, Askelon, Ashdod, Ekron and Gath in the ancient Middle East. The Philistines are depicted as enemies of the Israelis in the Bible.
At his wedding feast with his Philistine bride, Samson taunts the Philistine groomsmen with a riddle they cannot possibly answer. When his bride begs Samson for the solution and passes it on to her kinsmen, he kills 30 men from Askelon in a rage. When he returns home, he finds that his bride has been given to someone else. In revenge, Samson gathers pairs of foxes and ties their tails together with torches between them. He then looses 300 of the animals on the Philistinesí fields, destroying their crops.
Itís this scene that is depicted in the mosaic. Itís an "unusual" subject, Magness said, because only two other synagogues have been found that depict Samson at all, much less a fiery scene of revenge. But one of the other ancient synagogues that does depict Samson is only a few miles from the newly excavated building, Magness said.
"It suggests that, for whatever reason, Samson was popular in the local area," she said.
Read the full article at: livescience.com
"Pagan" Cult Mosaic Found Under Cathedral
Medieval Islamic Mosaics Used Modern Math
Oldest confirmed cave art is a single red dot
Art sleuths believe long-lost Da Vinci found in Italy
Ancient Bethlehem seal found; first reference to city outside Bible
Godís Wife Edited Out of the Bible - Almost (Videos)
Ultraviolet light reveals how ancient Greek statues really looked
Latest News from our Front Page
"Open the border - we're going to the UK!" Chanting mob of 200 storm Eurotunnel
Migrants make their way towards the Tunnel entrance in the early hours of Sunday morning
An organised mob of 200 migrants charged into the Calais entrance of the Channel Tunnel early yesterday, chanting ‚Äėopen the borders‚Äô and demanding to be allowed into Britain.
They tore down fences and charged past police, who retaliated by spraying tear gas. When the migrants were finally ...
Forgotten British Heroes Campaign
The text of the letter from the Forgotten British Heroes Campaign to the Israel ambassador in London, Daniel Taub.
This will be delivered to the Israel Embassy on Saturday 1st August, the day on which the Campaign will hold a wreath-laying and then a meeting at the site of a notorious Zionist terrorist bombing near to Trafalgar Square (the former British ...
Baltimore Murders Tie Records After Freddie Gray Killing, 45 Killed In July To Make It The Deadliest Month In At Least 45 Years
The number of people murdered in Baltimore hit a record-tying 45 homicides for the month of July, the Baltimore Sun is reporting. The number is an uptick that follows a trend of increased violence in the city in the months after the Baltimore riots that resulted from the death of unarmed black man Freddie Gray on April 12.
The increased violence in Baltimore, which was already one ...
Executive arrested over disappearance of $390 million in Bitcoins
Mark Karpeles, head of collapsed MTGox Bitcoin exchange held by Japanese police
Japanese police on Saturday arrested Mark Karpeles, head of the collapsed MtGox Bitcoin exchange, over the disappearance of about $390 (£250 million) worth of the virtual currency, local media said.
France-born Karpeles, 30, is suspected of having accessed the exchange's computer system and falsifying data on its outstanding balance, ...
Sweden invents a word for girls' genitals equivalent to 'willy' for boys
Everyone in the Scandinavian country uses the term ‘snippa’ for girls’ genitals. But few know it was a feminist invention
Snoppen och Snippan, a TV cartoon of dancing children’s genitalia, was a massive hit on the internet.
I only ever speak English to our three-year-old daughter, and my wife only speaks Swedish to her. The one exception is the word snippa. It’s ...
|More News » |