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Ancient synagogue floor unearthed in Israel

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TEL AVIV (JTA) — The remains of an ancient synagogue were discovered in northern Israel.

Excavators from a consortium of American schools and the Israel Antiquities Authority unearthed the mosaic floor of a synagogue that dates back to Roman times, according to an Israeli government news release. The remains are located at the ancient city of Huqoq in the Galilee.

Part of the mosaic depicts the biblical scene of Samson placing torches between the tails of foxes, as well as another image of two human faces flanking a medallion with a Hebrew inscription about rewards for those who perform good deeds.

“Our mosaics are also important because of their high artistic quality and the tiny size of the mosaic cubes,” excavation leader Jodi Magness, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said in the release. This, together with the monumental size of the stones used to construct the synagogue’s walls, suggests a high level of prosperity in this village, as the building clearly was very costly.”

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