Samson Mosaic Discovered In Ancient Synagogue In Huqoq, Israel

Samson Mosaic Discovered In Ancient Israeli Synagogue

A colorful mosaic depicting the Biblical figure Samson has been discovered in the Galilee region of Israel, according to the Israeli Antiquities Authority.

The artwork (click for photo) was found in a synagogue in Huqoq and is well preserved even though it dates back to the late Roman period, or around the 4th or 5th century.

In addition to the mosaic of Samson, another was found featuring two unknown individuals believed to be women.

Jodi Magness, a religious studies professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, told CNN the finding was "significant" and "stunning" considering the quality of the artwork and how rare it would have been at the time.

As explained by Gail Myhre in "Jewish Mosaics from the Roman Empire," mosaics are generally a Roman, not Jewish, artform. This discovery shows a blending of the two cultures.

Monumental stones were also found composing the synagogue's walls. Combined with the rich mosaics, this suggests the village had a high level of prosperity, Art Daily reports, citing Magness.

Biblical archaeology in the Middle East and Egypt dates back about two hundred years and continues to this day. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintains a public list of scheduled archaeological excavations.

Other recent digs have uncovered ancient jewelry and evidence that Bethlehem existed long before the birth of Jesus.

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