Pages in category "Israeli mosaics"
The following 14 pages are in this category, out of 14 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 14 pages are in this category, out of 14 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Beit She'an – It has also played an important role in modern times, acting as the regional center of the villages in the Beit Shean Valley. The ancient city ruins are now protected within a national park, a large cemetery on the northern Mound was in use from the Bronze Age to Byzantine times. Canaanite graves dating from 2000 to 1600 BCE were discovered there in 1926, after the Egyptian conquest of Beit Shean by pharaoh Thutmose III in the 15th century BCE, the small town on the summit of the Mound became the center of the Egyptian administration of the region. The Egyptian newcomers changed the organization of the town and left a great deal of material culture behind, artifacts of potential cultic significance were found around the temple. Based on a found in the temple, inscribed with Egyptian hieroglyphs. University Museums most important finds near the temple is the Lion and Dog stela, the Hebrew University excavations determined that this temple was built on the site of an earlier one. During the three hundred years of Egyptian rule, the population of Beit She’an appears to have been primarily Egyptian administrative officials, the town was completely rebuilt, following a new layout, during the 19th dynasty. The University Museum excavations uncovered two important stelae from the period of Seti I and a monument of Rameses II, Pottery was produced locally, but some was made to mimic Egyptian forms. Other Canaanite goods existed alongside Egyptian imports, or locally made Egyptian-style objects, the 20th dynasty saw the construction of large administrative buildings in Beit Shean, including Building 1500, a small palace for the Egyptian governor. During the 20th dynasty, invasions of the Sea Peoples upset Egypts control over the Eastern Mediterranean, though the exact circumstances are unclear, the entire site of Beit Shean was destroyed by fire around 1150 BCE. The Egyptians did not attempt to rebuild their administrative center and finally lost control of the region, an Iron Age I Canaanite city was constructed on the site of the Egyptian center shortly after its destruction. Around 1100 BC, Canaanite Beit Shean was conquered by the Philistines, during a subsequent battle against the Jewish King Saul at nearby Mount Gilboa in 1004 BC, the Philistines prevailed. 1 Samuel 31,10 states that the victorious Philistines hung the body of King Saul on the walls of Beit Shean, portions of these walls were excavated on the Mound recently. The Assyrian conquest of northern Israel under Tiglath-Pileser III brought about the destruction of Beit Shean by fire, minimal reoccupation occurred until the Hellenistic period. The Hellenistic period saw the reoccupation of the site of Beit Shean under the new name Scythopolis, little is known about the Hellenistic city, but during the 3rd century BCE a large temple was constructed on the Tell. It is unknown which deity was worshipped there, but the continued to be used during Roman times. Graves dating from the Hellenistic period are simple, singular rock-cut tombs, in 198 BCE the Seleucids finally conquered the region. The town played a role after the Hasmonean-Maccabeean Revolt, Josephus records that the Jewish High Priest Jonathan was killed there by Demetrius II Nicator, the city was destroyed by fire at the end of the 2nd century BCE
2. Beth Alpha – Beth Alpha or Bet Alpha or Bet Alfa is a sixth-century synagogue located at the foot of the northern slopes of the Gilboa mountains near Beit Shean, Israel. It is now part of Bet Alfa Synagogue National Park and managed by the Israel Nature, the Beth Alpha synagogue was uncovered in 1928 by members of the nearby Kibbutz Hefzibah, who stumbled upon the synagogue’s extensive mosaic floors during irrigation construction. Excavations began in 1929 under the auspices of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and were led by Israeli archaeologist, a secondary round of excavations, sponsored by the Israel Antiquities Authority in 1962, further explored the residential structures surrounding the synagogue. In addition, a hoard of 36 Byzantine coins were found in a depression in the floor apse. Architectural remains from the Beth Alpha synagogue indicate that the synagogue once stood as two-story basilical building and contained a courtyard, vestibule, the Torah Ark within the apse was aligned southwest, in the direction of Jerusalem. The northern entryway features two dedicatory inscriptions in Aramaic and Greek, although partially destroyed, the Aramaic inscription indicates that the synagogue was built during the reign of Roman Emperor Justinus, probably Justin I, and was funded by communal donations. The Greek inscription thanks artisans “Marianos and his son Hanina, ” whom were listed as the artisans of the nearby Beth Shean synagogue. The inscriptions are flanked on either side by a lion and a buffalo, the northern panel depicts the “Binding of Isaac”. To the right, Abraham is depicted dangling Isaac over the altar as he raises his hand to perform the sacrifice. In the center, God, symbolized by the small fire- encircled hand appearing in the upper center, instructs Abraham to sacrifice a nearby ram instead of Isaac. The hand of God is aptly labeled with “al tishlah” or “do not raise, in the lower center of the composition, immediately below the hand of God, the ram that served as Isaac’s substitute is positioned standing sideways, trapped in the nearby thicket. All the figures in the scene, except for the two servants, are identified with Hebrew labels, the iconographic significance of the “Binding of Isaac” is unclear. In contemporaneous Christian church art, where the “Binding of Isaac” was also a popular theme, the central panel features a Jewish adaptation of the Greco-Roman zodiac. The zodiac consists of two circles, with the twelve zodiac signs appearing in the outer circle, and Helios. The outer circle consists of panels, each of which correspond to one of the twelve months of the year. Female busts symbolizing the four seasons appear in the four corners immediately outside the zodiac, in the center, Helios appears with his signature Greco-Roman iconographic elements such as the fiery crown of rays adorning his head and the highly stylized quadriga or four-horse-drawn chariot. The background is decorated with a crescent shaped moon and stars, as in the “Binding of Isaac” panel, the zodiac symbols and seasonal busts are labeled with their corresponding Hebrew names. Some interpret the popularity that the zodiac maintains within synagogue floors as evidence for its Judaization and adaptation into the Jewish calendar, others see it as representing the existence of a “non-Rabbinic” or a mystical and Hellenized form of Judaism that embraced the astral religion of Greco-Roman culture
3. Ein Gedi – Ein Gedi (Hebrew, עֵין גֶּדִי, Arabic, عين جدي, translit. ‘ayn jady, literally spring of the kid is an oasis and a reserve in Israel, located west of the Dead Sea, near Masada. Ein Gedi was listed in 2016 as one of the most popular sites in the country. The name Ein Gedi is composed of two Hebrew words, ein means spring and gǝdi means goat-kid, Ein Gedi thus means Kid spring. At Mikveh Cave archaeologists found Pre-Pottery Neolithic A flint tools and an arrowhead, a Chalcolithic temple belonging to the Ghassulian culture was excavated on the slope between two springs, Ein Shulamit and Ein Gedi. More Chalcolithic finds were made at the Moringa and Mikveh Caves, no traces of Bronze Age settlement have been found at Ein Gedi. The remains of the Iron Age settlement at Ein Gedi are located at a tell on the bank of Wadi Arugot, known in Arabic as Tell el-Jurn. The first permanent Iron Age settlement was Judahite and was established around 630 BCE, the site was destroyed or abandoned after the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 587/86 BCE. In Genesis 14,7 Hazazon-tamar is mentioned as being an Amorite city, in Joshua 15,62, Ein Gedi is enumerated among the cities of the Tribe of Judah in the desert Betharaba, but Ezekiel 47,10 shows that it was also a fishermans town. Later, King David hides in the desert of Ein Gedi and King Saul seeks him even upon the most craggy rocks, the Song of Songs speaks of the vineyards of En Gedi. The words of Ecclesiasticus 24,18, I was exalted like a tree in Cades. The settlement at Tel Goren is an example of a town which reached its zenith during the Persian period. Ein Gedi receives a fortress and becomes a royal Hasmonean estate, according to the Jewish-Roman historian Josephus Flavius, the Sicarii, who fought the Romans until their defeat and mass suicide at Masada, plundered local villages including En Gedi. At En Gedi, they out the defenders, and killed over seven hundred women and children who could not run away. In April 1848, Lieutenant William Francis Lynch led an American expedition down the Jordan River into the Dead Sea, in 1998–99, the archaeological expedition of Yizhar Hirschfeld at Ein Gedi systematically excavated what has been called the Essenes site, first discovered by Yohanan Aharoni in 1956. Ein Gedi nature reserve was declared in 1971 and is one of the most important reserves in Israel, the park is situated on the eastern border of the Judean Desert, on the Dead Sea coast, and covers an area of 14000 dunams. The elevation of the ranges from the level of the Dead Sea at 423 meters below sea level to the plateau of the Judean Desert at 200 meters above sea level. Ein Gedi nature reserve includes two spring-fed streams with flowing water year-round, Nahal David and Nahal Arugot, two other springs, the Shulamit and Ein Gedi springs, also flow in the reserve
4. Hamat Gader – Hamat Gader is a hot springs site in the Yarmouk River valley, used since the Classical antiquity. It is located in an area under Israeli control, in what was a zone between Israel and Syria from 1949 to 1967. The site is next to the Jordanian border, and about 10 kilometres from the tripoint of Israel, Jordan and it is set on several mineral springs with temperatures up to 50 °C. The ancient Hebrew name means hot springs of Gadara, the latter is above the springs, in modern Umm Qais. The Arabic name El-Hamma preserves this, and the name of the mound located near the site, Hamat Gader was already a widely known health and recreation site in Roman times. It is mentioned in Strabo, Origen and Eunapius, as well as the Rabbinic literature of the first centuries AD, construction of the bath complex began in the 2nd century by the 10th Roman Legion, which was garrisoned in the city of Gadara. The site includes a Roman theatre, which was built in the 3rd century CE, a large synagogue was built in the 5th century CE. Some of the buildings were damaged by an earthquake and restored in 633 by the Umayyad caliph who ruled from Damascus, a century later the 749 Galilee earthquake hit. Eventually, in the 9th century, the baths were abandoned, before 1949, the Palestinian Arab village Al-Hamma was located at this site. At the time of the 1931 census, it had 46 occupied houses, the border between the Mandatory Palestine and the French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon was drawn in 1923, and Al-Hamma was included in Palestine. The villagers and their property were protected by Article V of the Israeli-Syrian agreement of 20 July that year. However, Israel thought the Arab villagers could pose a security threat, Israel therefore wanted the Palestinian inhabitants, a total of 2,200 people, moved to Syria. On April 4,1951, a force of Israeli soldiers, since Israel was not allowed to have soldiers in the DMZ, members of the patrol were disguised as policemen. Syrian soldiers guarding the entrance to Hamat Gader ordered them to turn back immediately, once the Israeli force had passed, the Syrians opened fire. Of the 22 soldiers and policemen in the force, seven were killed, the skirmish became known as the Al-Hamma Incident. Israeli control over Hamat Gader was secured during the Six-Day War in 1967, since then, it has been under Israeli control and has been developed as a tourist attraction, health resort and an alligator and exotic bird reserve. The health resort opened in 1977, today, Hamat Gader also includes a crocodilian farm with crocodiles, alligators and even caimans and gavials. It has about 200 crocodilians and it is the largest crocodile farm in the Middle East, Hamat Gader is Israels largest and oldest spa complex
5. Hamat Tiberias – Hammath or Hamma is the Hebrew and Semitic word for hot spring. The Hebrew possessive plural is hamei- and it is adjacent to the ancient city of Tiberias, which was established in the first century CE and is now called Tveriya, thus the springs and the resort are called Hamei Tveriya. Since several places bore the name Hammath, the distinction was made here by adding Tiberias/Tveriya to the name, spelling vary for both parts of the Hebrew name. The Arabic name uses the word, Al-Hammam. The 17 springs of Hamat Tiberias have been known since antiquity for their curative properties, the site was rediscovered in 1920 when the Tiberias-Samakh road was being constructed. The Hamei Tveriya natural hot springs are located on the grounds of the park, according to the sages of the Talmud, the springs were heated when they streamed past the entrance of Hell. Archaeologists have concluded it was built on the ruins of the city of Hammath. (Joshua 19,350 However the finds of the excavations are limited to the 1st-8th centuries CE, the Hammat Tiberias Synagogue is an ancient synagogue on the outskirts of Tiberias, located near the hot springs just south of the city. The synagogue dates to 286 and 337 CE, when Tiberias was the seat of the Sanhedrin, two synagogue sites have been excavated at Hammat Tiberias. A limestone menorah was uncovered there which is now on display at the Israel Museum, the mosaic floor is made up of three panels featuring the zodiac, and Helios, the sun god. Women who symbolize the four seasons of nature appear in each corner, the second synagogue site, excavated by Moshe Dothan, is noted for its elaborate mosaic floor. In the center of one large mosaic is the Sun god, Helios, sitting in his holding the celestial sphere. Nine of the 12 signs of the zodiac survived intact, another panel shows a Torah ark flanked by two the seven-branched menorahs and other Jewish ritual objects. Hamat Tiberias National Park at the Israeli Parks Authority site
6. Herodium – Herod the Great built a palace fortress and a small town at Herodium, between 23 and 15 BCE, and is believed to have been buried there. Herodium is 758 meters above sea level, the highest peak in the Judaean Desert, today, the site is managed by the Israel National Parks Authority. Herodion is the site that is named after King Herod the Great. It was known by the Crusaders as the Mountain of Franks, arab locals call it Jabal al-Fourdis. The Modern Hebrew name, Herodion, is actually a transliteration of the Greek spelling, some speculate that the Arabic name, Fourdis, may be a corruption of the Hebrew name. In 40 BCE, after the Parthian conquest of Syria, Herod fled to Masada, on the way, at the location of Herodion, Herod clashed with the Parthians and emerged victorious. According to the Roman Jewish historian Josephus, he built a town on that spot in commemoration of his victory, at intervals it has round towers, and it has a steep ascent formed of two hundred steps of hewn stone. Within it are costly royal apartments made for security and for ornament at the same time, the surrounding plain was built up as a city second to none, with the hill serving as an acropolis for the other dwellings. Archaeologists believe that the palace was built by slaves, paid workers, Herod was considered one of the greatest builders of his time and was not daunted by geography—his palace was built on the edge of the desert and was situated atop an artificial hill. The largest of the four towers was built on a stone base 18 meters in diameter and this was most likely where Herod lived, he decorated his rooms with mosaic floors and elaborate frescoes. The other three towers, which consisted of living spaces and storage, were 16 meters in diameter, outside, several cisterns were built to collect water that was channeled into the palace. Herodium was conquered and destroyed by the Romans in 71 CE, at the beginning of the Bar Kokhba revolt sixty years later, Simon bar Kokhba declared Herodium as his secondary headquarters. Archaeological evidence for the revolt was all over the site. Inside the water system, supporting walls built by the rebels were discovered, inside one of the caves, burned wood was found which was dated to the time of the revolt. Excavation began in 1972 and was intermittent until the lead archaeologist, Ehud Netzers, Netzer worked at Herodium on behalf of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Although there is much of the left to unearth, Netzer was the premier historian and had the most experience and knowledge of Herodium. Herod the Great built a palace within the fortress of Herodium, Herod himself commissioned a lavish palace to be built between 23 and 15 BCE atop Herodium for all to see. The palace itself consisted of four towers of seven stories, a bathhouse, courtyards, a Roman theatre, banquet rooms, once Herod died and the Great Revolt started, Herodium was abandoned
7. Lod Mosaic Archaeological Center – The Lod Mosaic is a mosaic floor dated to ca.300 CE discovered in 1996 in the Israeli town of Lod. Believed to have created for a private villa, it is one of the largest. It depicts land animals, fish and two Roman ships and it was restored in the labs of the Israel Antiquities Authority. After an overseas tour of several years it will be displayed in the purpose-built Shelby White, the mosaic was discovered in 1996 by construction workers widening HeHalutz Street. Archaeologist Miriam Avissar of the Israel Antiquities Authority was called to the site, the mosaic was put on public view over a single weekend and 30,000 people traveled to Lod to see it. It was then reburied while funding was sought for its conservation, the mosaic has been on an exhibition tour to eleven museums around the world since 2010. While it is expected to return to Lod for public display, the patterns depict birds, fish, animals and plants, in addition to providing detailed images of Roman-era ships. Nothing is written on the mosaic, inscriptions are common in Roman-era mosaics from public buildings, there are also hopes that tourists coming to see the mosaic will increase the prosperity of Lod. Unusually for a floor of this age, the mosaic is in near-perfect condition. The exception is damage to one of the two ships depicted, done when an Ottoman-era cesspit was dug into the mosaic, despite the damage, students of maritime history have been able to glean a great deal of information from the images. The ships are of the navis oneraria type, Roman merchant ships typically displacing 80-150 tons, used to carry such commodities as garum and grain from Egypt to Rome. They further suggest that it may have commissioned as a kind of ex-voto. Archaeology of Israel The official website of the Lod Mosaic exhibition tour 2010-2016 Article about the Lod Mosaic by Metropolitan Museum of Art Curator, Christopher S
8. Maon Synagogue – The Maon Synagogue is a 6th-century synagogue and archaeological site located in the Negev Desert near Kibbutz Nirim and Kibbutz Nir Oz. It is noted for its magnificent mosaic floor, the original date of the synagogue is uncertain but is before the 6th century. In a sixth-century renovation, the wall was opened and a semi-circular apse to contain a Torah Ark was constructed. The floor level was raised and marble columns and a beautiful mosaic floor installed. At the bottom of the floor is an amphora flanked by a pair of peacocks. A vine flows out of the amphora, forming loops, in each loop is a bird, animal, fruit, the design is so similar to the mosaics in the church floor at nearby Shallal that they are thought to have been designed by the same artist. Both floors depict animals and have patterns, the synagogue floor is distinguished by a menorah flanked by two lions and several other Jewish ritual objects. The seven-branched menorah stands on three legs, like the menorah in the Temple in Jerusalem, the legs in Maon are shaped like a lions paws. Alongside the menorah are the symbols of Judah, palm trees, esrogs, a shofar and a lulav are depicted nearby. The Mosaic has an inscription in Aramaic, the upper part of the inscription blesses all members of the community, the lower part honors three donors. An identical floor was found in the ancient synagogue in Gaza, the synagogue is built on the basilica plan. The mosaic is in the area, the two side aisles were paved with stone. The ceiling was made of beams and clay. A number of objects were found by the salvage dig on the floor facing the Torah Ark. These include coins and bone and metal artifacts that are thought to have associated with the Torah Ark. There were also fragments of glass and ceramic lamps, dozens of amulets were also found, some of them were used by women who were asking for good health. Adjacent to the ruins of the synagogue a cistern, water channels, the synagogue was built at the site of Hellenistic Menois, a city marked on the Map of Madaba. It is one of three ancient synagogues discovered in the western Negev, the synagogue and its mosaic floor were discovered during the construction of a road in 1957
9. Naaran – Naaran is an ancient Jewish village dating to the 5th and 6th century CE, located in the West Bank. Remains of the village have been excavated north of Jericho, in Ephraim, the mosaic floor of a synagogue was discovered at the site featuring a large zodiac design. Naaran is mentioned in 1 Chronicles 7,28 as a town in the part of Ephraim. Aramaic inscriptions and mosaics from the synagogue are displayed at a museum established by the Israeli archaeologist Yitzhak Magen at the Good Samaritan Inn. In May 2012, the ancient synagogue was vandalized with graffiti that included swastikas, Israels Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli-Yoel Edelstein condemned the act and noted that, The incident reaffirms the belief that Jewish holy sites must be under Israels sovereignty. An Israeli settlement, kibbutz Niran, located several kilometers to the north, shalom Al Yisrael Synagogue Mevoot Yericho Yitav Oldest synagogues in the world Archaeology of Israel
10. Sepphoris – It lies 286 m above sea level and overlooks the Beit Netofa Valley. The site holds a rich and diverse historical and architectural legacy that includes Hellenistic, Jewish, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, Crusader, Arabic, following the Bar Kokhba revolt of 132–135, Sepphoris was one of the centers in Galilee where rabbinical families from Judea relocated. Remains of a synagogue dated to the first half of the century were discovered on the northern side of town. In the 7th century, the town was conquered by the Arab caliphates like much of the rest of Palestine, successive Arab and Islamic imperial authorities ruled the area until the end of the first World War I, with a brief interruption during the Crusades. Until its depopulation during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Saffuriya was an Arab village, moshav Tzippori was established adjacent to the site in 1949. It falls under the jurisdiction of Jezreel Valley Regional Council, the area occupied by the former Arab village was designated a national park in 1992 Archaeological remains from the Middle Paleolithic and the Yarmukian culture have been found. Remains have also found from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B and the Middle Chalcolithic era. Evidence from ceramic remains indicates the site of Sepphoris was inhabited during the Iron Age,1, actual occupation and building work can be verified from the 4th century, with the Hellenistic period. The Bible makes no mention of the city, the Roman client king, Herod the Great recaptured the city in 37 BCE after it had been garrisoned by the Parthian proxy, the Hasmonean Antigonus II Mattathias. After Herods son, Herod Antipas was made tetrarch, or governor, he proclaimed the new name to be Autocratoris. An ancient route linking Sepphoris to Legio, and further south to Samaria-Sebastia, is believed to have been paved by the Romans around this time, the new population was loyal to Rome. At the time of Jesus, Sepphoris was a large, Roman-influenced city and it has been suggested that Jesus, while living in Nazareth, may have worked as a craftsman at Sepphoris, where, during his youth the largest restoration project of his time took place. The inhabitants of Sepphoris did not join the Great Jewish Revolt against Roman rule of 66 CE, the Roman legate in Syria, Cestius Gallus, killed some 2,000 brigands and rebels in the area, and sold its inhabitants into slavery. The Jerusalemite Josephus, a son of Jerusalems priestly elite had been sent north to recruit the Galilee into the rebellions fold, but was only partially successful. He made two attempts to capture Sepphoris, but failed to conquer it, the first time because of fierce resistance, around the time of the rebellion Sepphoris had a Roman theater - in later periods, bath-houses and mosaic floors depicting human figures. Rejected by Sepphoris and forced to camp outside the city Josephus went on to Jotapata, towns and villages that did not rebel were spared and in Galilee they were the majority. Coins minted in the city at the time of the Great Revolt carried the inscription Neronias and Eirenopolis, after the revolt, coins bore depictions of laurel wreaths, palm trees, caduceuses and ears of barley, which appear on Jewish coinage albeit not exclusively. Just prior to the Bar Kokhba revolt, the name was changed to Diocaesarea in Hadrians time, in honor of Zeus
11. Shalom Al Yisrael Synagogue – The Shalom Al Yisrael Synagogue, dates to the late 6th or early 7th century CE and was discovered in Jericho in 1936. The synagogue, dating from the Byzantine period, was revealed in excavations conducted in 1936 by Dr. Baramki of the Department of Antiquities under the British Mandate, an Arab family built a house over the mosaic floor and charged admission to visit it. The mosaic floor incorporates Jewish symbols such as the Ark of the Covenant, the Menorah, the Shofar, there is also a Hebrew inscription, Peace upon Israel, after which the mosaic was named. After the 1967 Six Day War, the site came under Israeli military control, tourists and Jews began visiting the site regularly for prayers. In 1987, the Israeli authorities confiscated the mosaic, the house and they offered compensation to the Shahwan family but that was rejected. Following the Oslo Accords, the site was given to the Palestinian Authority, since then the PA has deployed a special security force to protect it. After the 1995 Oslo Accords, control of the site was given to the PA and it was agreed that free access to the site would continue and it would be adequately protected. At the beginning of the Al-Aqsa Intifada the site became a source of conflict, on the night of 12 October 2000, vandals entered and desecrated the building, damaging the private house on top of the ancient mosaic. Later, the PA repaired the damage, the Torah scroll stored at the synagogue was rescued from the fire which had been started and was taken to Mevoot Yericho. In 2005 a group of Israelis was able to visit the synagogue after it was restored by the Municipality of Jericho, originally the IDF allowed only monthly visits - on the first of the Jewish month - in order to conduct prayer services
12. Tabgha – Tabgha is an area situated on the north-western shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. It is traditionally accepted as the place of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, between the Late Muslim period and 1948, it was the site of a Palestinian Arab village. The sites name is derived from the Greek name Heptapegon and its pronunciation gradually changed to Tabego, and was eventually changed to Tabgha by the Arabic speakers. St. Jerome referred to Heptapegon as the solitude, a map from Napoleons invasion of 1799 by Pierre Jacotin showed Tabgha, marked by the word Moulin. The 4th-century tower-like octagonal reservoir at Ein Nur Spring and the aqueduct it connected to are traditionally attributed to Ali, the reservoir is locally known as Birket Ali edh-Dhaher, Pool of Ali edh-Dhaher. The Palestine Exploration Funds 1881 Survey of Western Palestine stated that the masonry of the structures indicates an Arab origin, the area now taken by the Church of St Peters Primacy was known during the Crusader period as Mensa Christi, or Mensa Domini. In 1596, as Al-Tabigha was part of the Ottoman Empire and it paid taxes on a number of crops, including wheat and barley, as well as on goats, beehives and orchards. Johann Ludwig Burckhardt described the place as having a few houses and a mill, in 1838 Edward Robinson found here a small village, with one or two mills, built by Zahir al-Umar, but by then belonging to the government. By the 1931 census the population had increased to 245,223 Muslims,21 Christians, and 1 Jew, in a total of 53 houses. The number of people had increased to 330 when the last census was made in 1945, there were 310 Muslim and 20 Christians. In 1944/45 the village had 7 dunams used for citrus and bananas,287 were plantations and irrigated land,2,728 used for cereals, while 2,367 dunams were classified as non-cultivable land. On May 4,1948, in Operation Broom, just before the outbreak of the Arab-Israeli war, Tabgha was attacked by Palmah forces, supported by the Alexandroni Brigades and its Arab inhabitants were expelled and their houses and tents were destroyed under orders by Yigal Allon. The earliest building at Tabgha was a chapel built in the 4th century A. D. by the Jewish convert to Christianity. According to Epiphanius, Joseph was a contemporary of Emperor Constantine, a Rabbinical scholar, member of the Sanhedrin and this was probably the shrine described by the pilgrim Egeria at the end of the 4th century. The 4th century small shrine was dismounted in 480 and a chapel was built by Martyrius of Jerusalem. In the same place facing the Sea of Galilee is a well watered land in which lush grasses grow, with numerous trees, nearby are seven springs which provide abundant water. In this fruitful garden Jesus fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread, the large monastery and a church were built in the fifth century. In any way, by the Crusader conquests the Byzantine site was forgotten, the areas lands were bought in the 18th century by a Catholic German association, so they could build a hotel for pilgrims
13. Tzippori Synagogue – Tzippori Synagogue is an ancient synagogue discovered in Tzippori, a Roman-era Jewish city in the Galilee, now an archaeological site and a national park in Israel. Based on numismatic evidence, the synagogue appears to have built in the first half of the fifth century. It was located on the side of the city, not far from the city center. Measuring 20.7 meters long and 8 meters wide, it is the narrowest ancient synagogue uncovered in the Land of Israel, the Bimah was located in the western wall, not oriented towards Jerusalem as in other synagogues of that era. The Mishna describes Tzippori as having had 18 synagogues at the time of the funeral of Rabbi Judah haNasi in the second century CE. The mosaic floor of the ancient synagogue was discovered in 1993 by a building a parking lot at the edge of the national archaeological park of Tzippori. It is one of a handful of illustrated synagogue mosaics uncovered in Israel, archaeologist Zeev Weiss, then a graduate student at the Hebrew University, and his teacher, archaeologist Ehud Netzer were called to the scene, and Weiss uncovered the floor and its environs. The mosaic floor is divided into seven parts, near the entrance is a scene showing the angels visiting Sarah. The next section shows the binding of Isaac, there is a large Zodiac with the names of the months written in Hebrew. Helios sits in the middle, in his sun chariot, next, there is a row of three panels depicting the offerings in the Temple at Jerusalem, including the tamid sacrifice, the showbread and the basket of first fruits. Above this is a depiction of Aaron offering sacrifices in the Tabernacle, the top, or front of the building section of the floor, another row of three panels, shows two lions flanking a wreath, their paws resting on the head of an ox. The largest panel or central sections of the mosaic is laid out as a square containing a circle within a circle. This shows the Zodiac with Helios driving his chariot, as with the Hammat Tiberias Synagogue and the Beit Alfa Synagogue, the Zodiac panel at Tzippori features Spandrels depicting the four seasons. An Aramaic mosaic inscription in honor of the reads, May he be remembered for good Yudan son of Isaac the Priest and Paragri his daughter. Oldest synagogues in the world Archaeology in Israel