A Kaleidoscope of Biblical Imagery

A Kaleidoscope of Biblical Imagery

Credit:(Photo: wikicommons/Jim Haberman)

In 2012, archaeologists began excavating the ancient village in Galilee called Huqoq. The Times of Israel’s Amanda Borschel-Dan tells us that the dig keeps on going — and the wondrous artistic finds keep on giving:

A dazzling array of mosaics depicting biblical and historical scenes has been unearthed at a Late Roman-era synagogue in the Galilee’s ancient Huqoq village since 2012. With intricate attention to detail, each frame — until now kept under wraps — is worth thousands of words…

The scenes vary from well-known religious stories such as Jonah and the Whale, Noah’s Ark, and Pharaoh’s soldiers being swept away by the Red Sea and swallowed up by dozens of fish, to the pagan zodiac at the floor’s center, as well as a portrayal of what may be the first purely historical non-biblical scene in a synagogue — complete with armored elephants…

Throughout the flooring, there are realistic-looking animals, including horses, donkeys, bears, camels, leopards, lions, snakes, sheep, foxes, and ostriches, as well as dozens of fish and other sea creatures including a dolphin and a wavy-tentacled octopus. And there are also mythological beings such as cupids and harpies, which are used to represent wind in the Jonah panel. Sprinkled among the stories, there is plenty of transportation as well, including a four-wheeled chariot, several sea vessels, and the ark Noah built.

In one panel, the Tower of Babel is being constructed using a wide-variety of mechanisms and pulleys. Illustrating the strife that came hand-in-hand with its construction, fights break out in the background among people of differing skin colors, garbed in diverse clothing and with a variety of hairstyles…

Tags: Facts and Findings Life in Israel

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