Monday, July 16, 2012

Report on Mosaics Discovered at Huqoq in Israel

In June 2011, a multi-year excavation project began in the ancient village of Huqoq in Israel's Lower Eastern Galilee, directed by Professor Jodi Magness of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and co-directed by Dr. David Amit and Ms. Shua Kisilevitz of the Israel Antiquities Authority, and sponsored by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Brigham Young University, Trinity University (TX), the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Toronto.

One of the project's goals was locating and excavating a synagogue building, the remains of which were suggested by scattered architectural fragments visible on the surface.  In June 2011, the synagogue's wall – which was constructed of monumental ashlar masonry – was discovered.  In June 2012, work inside the synagogue brought to light sections of a mosaic floor.  One section, made of tiny tesserae, depicts two female faces (one complete and one incomplete) flanking a Hebrew or Aramaic inscription that refers to rewards for those who perform good deeds.