Detail of the elephant mosaic from the Huqoq Exploration Project. Photo courtesy of Jim Haberman, Huqoq Excavation Project

Detail of the elephant mosaic from the Huqoq Exploration Project. Photo courtesy of Jim Haberman, Huqoq Excavation Project


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

JERUSALEM (RNS) An ancient synagogue mosaic depicting nonbiblical themes — including elephants — has been removed for safekeeping, according to the lead archaeologist who discovered the three-part floor panel earlier this summer.

Jodi Magness, director of the excavations in the ancient Jewish village of Huqoq in the Lower Galilee, said the high-quality, 1,600-year-old mosaic panel, which depicts an array of nonbiblical themes, “has been removed for conservation” until the synagogue is fully excavated in several years’ time.

Magness, a professor of Judaism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her team have been digging at the site every July for four years.

Until now, “all stories found decorating ancient synagogues have been taken from the Hebrew Bible,” Magness said.

A royal figure in the Huqoq mosaic. Photo courtesy of Jim Haberman, Huqoq Excavation Project

A royal figure in the Huqoq mosaic. Photo courtesy of Jim Haberman, Huqoq Excavation Project


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

The nonbiblical mosaic depicts a three-part story. The lower level contains a dying bull and a dying soldier. The center level depicts several armed men dressed in white and an elderly man carrying what appears to be a scroll. At the top is a Greek ruler flanked by soldiers and elephants in battle gear.

Elephants are not mentioned in the Bible.

Magness speculated that the Greek ruler could be Alexander the Great and the elderly man the Jewish high priest, but said much more research needs to be conducted.

What will happen to this and the other mosaics discovered at the synagogue site “depends largely on funding and on various agencies such as Israel Antiquities Authority and the Israel Parks Authority,” Magness said.

It is also possible that an Israeli museum will acquire at least some of the mosaics and put them on public display.

The important thing, the archaeologist said, “is to protect them from looters and vandals.”

YS/AMB END CHABIN

5 Comments

  1. Hmmm.

    If the appearance of an elephant warrants the title “non biblical images”….does the appearance of a greek warrant something more serious? Perhaps “bible is a fraud!?”

  2. Comment marked as low quality by the editors. Show comment

    Why is it you go on these Christian forums and there is no mention of things that really matter. There is no mentiin of really pertinent matters. I’ve got one. How about you go to your Birth Certificate and run the number on the front with New York Stock Exchange or any number of others and see how it will tell you what that strawman is worth. The NAME in all caps on your Birth Certificate and Social Security Card. Originally Social Security cards stated on the front in large print For Social Security Purposes and Not For Identification but eventually they changed it seeing that is a lie. I mean, clearly deceptive. Whie it does not identify the real you who spells your name with lowercase letters it does identify that fictitious name, Corporate identity aka Strawman which was created to keep track of how much money you generate and it used in a number of ways most people are unaware of including for leveraging your gains (labor and wages which ordinarily would be considered private property) which they consider as Corporate gains when you aremoperating under this Corporate identity they Created. It is a scheme whose origins can be traced through Hitler to the Vatican and the UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) and the private Federal Reserve Bank. They use a play on words to lay claim to the fruitmof your womb. They want to keep track of everything and everyone who comes into their economy and so they require a full and complete manifest be rendered apon entry of a ship to port which they call its ‘bitrth’ and figure since a woman comes into this world in his/her mother’s birth-water that they ought to cover that to. There are those in this country whi believe that entitlement is for the ultra-rich and that the poor wouldn’t know what to do with rights anyway so they need to act as social architects and to mold and society and culture to their own design as they see fit. There are also those who don’t mind being the little minions of the globalist elite because they are rewarded for their arduous effort with plenty of worthless cash which they can use Iin order to purchase things only because they have duped the masses into esteeming them as valuable when in reality the richest people in the world have vaults of gold or silver and also precious gemstones and precious worksmof art. Collectively some Financial Institutions may have Treasury Bills and Bonds worthTrillions but most have seen the writing on the wall and getting out of the U.S. Dollar as fast as they can.
    The Marriage Certificate: Originally an intrument of Misegenation Laws, the Marriage Certificate is an evil thing indeed. Abraham Lincoln never had one and nobody before him had one. The Black’s Law Dictionary 1888 defines Marriage License as permission from the State for Inter-racial Marriage while the present edition defined it as Inter-marriage. A subtle way of saying the same thing in a more palatable way where to an ignorant person they could say, ‘oh, Inter-marriage just means marriage’ Legalise is amstrange thing. These terms used in Law do not mean thing as for the layman whichm is why they have a special dictionary for Law terminology or legalise.
    It is a way of keeping us in the dark, ignorant of the true meaning of Laws and subordinate to its supposed authority.

  3. Well, I guess the Catholic and Anglish Bible don’t count, eh Michelle?

    1 Maccabees 6:46

    Which done, he crept under the elephant, and thrust him under, and slew him: whereupon the elephant fell down upon him, and there he died.

    – King James Bible “Authorized Version”, Cambridge Edition

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