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Discovered: Mosaic of Samson Carrying the Gate of Gaza on His Shoulders

Biblical scenes are not uncommon in Late Roman synagogue mosaics, but only one other ancient synagogue in Israel is decorated with a scene showing Samson.

New Mosaic(Israel)—An archaeological team from UNC Chapel Hill has reported the discovery of another mosaic of Samson in a fifth century synagogue at Huqoq, an ancient Jewish village in the Lower Galilee. (Photo by: Jim Haberman)

According to a report from the UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine, last summer a mosaic showing Samson and some foxes was discovered in the synagogue's east aisle. This summer, another mosaic was found showing Samson carrying the gate of Gaza on his shoulders.

"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," said team director Jodi Magness. "A cycle is a series of scenes about Samson, in which different episodes relating to Samson are depicted."







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