Archaeology Magazine

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Samson Mosaics Unearthed in Galilee

Thursday, June 27, 2013

MosaicJERUSALEM, ISRAEL—Archaeologists digging at a fifth-century A.D. synagogue at the village site of Huqoq, in Israel’s Lower Galilee, have found a mosaic depicting Samson carrying the town gate of Gaza on his shoulders. Last summer, the team found another mosaic showing Samson. Scholars know of only one other synagogue in ancient Israel that was decorated with a Samson mosaic. "The discovery of two Samson scenes in the Huqoq synagogue suggests that it was decorated with a Samson cycle, the first such cycle known in Israel," says University of North Carolina Jodi Magness, who is directing the excavations. Another section of the mosaic depicts several men and an elephant, as well as a wounded bull and a dead soldier.