#1686

2019-11-12

Hippos Sussita Mosaics

With Clyde Billington

Hippos/Sussita, one of the New Testament cities of the decapolis, is the home to at least a half dozen Byzantine churches which have been, or are being, excavated. The latest report from these excavations concerned beautiful mosaics found in one of the churches. The mosaics, among other things, portray Jesus and the feeding of the 5,000, which occurred (somewhere) nearby. We discuss this discovery and others that have been reported in the latest issue of ARTIFAX, our biblical archaeology news magazine, including a beautiful staircase at Hazor which is believed to lead to a plaza and a palace. Then there's the Goliath Wall at Gath, a massive city wall from the time of David and Goliath that is twice as thick as the later walls that were excavated on top of it. And finally, year-round excavations have begun at Assos, a city along the coast of western Turkey that was visited by the Apostle Paul (Acts 20:13). Archaeologists have been working here for 38 years, but are now picking up the pace, to make the site more interesting to visitors.

tags: Gath Mosaics Hippos Sussita Byzantine Churches Hazor Goliath Feeding 5000 Wal Assos staircase

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#1618

2018-05-23

Byzantine Churches of the Galilee

With Mordecai Aviam

We did this interview withi Mordecai Aviam in his office at Kinneret College, on the southern shore of the Sea of Galilee, where he is senior lecturer in the Department of the study of the Land of Israel. We dicussed his research into Byzantine churches of the Galilee, amongst the pagan populations that became Christian when Christianity became the religion of the Roman Empire. He is in the middle of excavating a number of the church sites, looking for mosaics that give information about church history.

tags: Mosaics Galilee Churches pagan bishops Christianity Roman Empire

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#1610

2018-03-21

Roman Camp at Megiddo

With Clyde Billington

Megiddo, one of the most famous sites of biblical archaeology, is becoming even more so with archaeological developments in its neighborhood. While the tell excavation continues (a royal burial was announced recently), a new excavation across the road has been uncovering the remains of second century Roman camp, the largest known in the eastern Mediterranean. Down at the crossroads, about a mile away, an Israeli prison is being demolished. A more modern facility is being built elsewhere, so that the mosaics from Roman period homes can be displayed, one which identifies one of the earliest known Christian worship communities in Israel (discovered in 2005). We also discuss the mosaics found in Byzantine churches in the Galilee, reconnecting Ephesus to the Aegean Sea, a surveillance network in Syria, and an Assyrian document that echoes the story of Abraham from Genesis.

tags: Ephesus Megiddo Roman Legion Abraham prison mosaic church mosaics Cayster River Hagar

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#1493

2015-08-27

Galilee Mosaics 2015

With Clyde Billington

015 appears to have been a fairly productive excavation year in Israel, particularly in the Galilee, where two different excavations reported major mosaic developments. In the excavations at Huqoq, overlooking the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, archaeologist Jodi Magness (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill) continues to excavate a fifth century synagogue with stunning beautiful mosaics. Additional work was done this summer on a mosaic which appears to illustrate the tradition that describes a meeting between Alexander the Great and the Jewish high priest in Jerusalem. At the same we report on the University of Hartford excavation of the Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth, which uncovered a more plain (crosses, for instance) mosaic dating about a century earlier. The mosaics are about six feet below the current floor level, and plans call for a glass window installation so visitors can see the mosaics. Additional news reported in this program, with my ARTIFAX co-editor Clyde Billington, a first century miqva discovery in the Ein Kerem area of Jerusalem (traditional home of the parents of John the Baptist) and tensions over the new carpet installation at the Dome of the Rock.

tags: Church of the Annunciation Nazareth Mosaics Huqoq Synagogue Dome of the Rock Ein Kerem miqva

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