Bible and archaeology news
The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced the discovery of a well-preserved and ornate Byzantine-era mosaic at Kibbutz Bet Qama in southern-central Israel. Found in a fourth-sixth century C.E. large roofed hall, the mosaic is composed of intricate geometric patterns alongside depictions of amphorae, fruits, peacocks and doves.
Archaeologists associated with the excavation describe the structure, which features painted plaster pools, channels, piping and a roof-tiled ceiling, as a public building. The architectural elements are indicative of a strong economy; however, they pale in comparison to stunning mosaic floor below. The skillfully worked floor’s size, condition, motif combinations and artistic detail have attracted the attention of international publications from FOX News to The Huffington Post.
The mosaic was discovered in an excavation prior to the construction of a highway interchange, which so far as yielded remains of an estate with a church, residential buildings, storerooms, a cistern and public building surrounded by farmland. Starting tomorrow, May 16, the IAA and the Cross-Israel Highway company will open the excavation for public tours.
The 2012 excavations at Huqoq uncovered a synagogue mosaic depicting Samson from a scene in Judges. Read about the mosaic discoveries in the Bible History Daily section More on the Mosaics.
BAS Library Members, read “Samson in the Synagogue” by Jodi Magness as it appeared in the January/February 2013 issue of BAR.
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