huqoq synagogue mosaics

The Huqoq Synagogue Mosaics

More on the Mosaics

Archaeologist and art historian Karen Britt of the University of Louisville provides a detailed artistic analysis of a Huqoq mosaic featuring an inscription and two female faces. The excavation of the mosaic, discovered in the same floor as Huqoq’s Samson mosaic, is described by Jodi Magness in “Samson in the Synagogue” in the January/February 2013 issueof Biblical Archaeology Review. Read Magness’s full article in the BAS Library.

The eyes that returned my gaze were set in a face that was vaguely familiar although much finer than most that I have seen in Israel and Jordan. “Who are you?” I whispered as conservator Orna Cohen and I looked down at the mosaic. The face belonged to one of two female heads in the mosaic flanking the Hebrew or Aramaic inscription in the northwest corner of the square. The other figure has not fared as well as her wavy-haired companion: Her image is substantially damaged, with nearly two-thirds of the mosaic missing. Although the setting bed under the mosaic extends across the whole square, indicating that mosaics once covered the entire area, only three fragmentary sections of the mosaic remain. The cause of the damage has not been determined. While we always want to find a perfectly preserved mosaic, it rarely happens and mosaic specialists have learned to make the most of what they have. In the case of Huqoq, the picture is far from bleak, as much can be learned from what has already been discovered.
for the rest of the article, see below.