Beautiful 1,500-year-old mosaics depicting Noah’s ark, animals, and the parting of the Red Sea have been discovered by archaeologists excavating a synagogue at Huqoq, an ancient Jewish village located three miles west of Magdala in the Galilee of Israel.
The newly-discovered mosaic panels decorate the floor of a synagogue that dates to the time when the area was ruled by the Roman Empire and when Christianity had become the Empire’s official religion.
The panel with Noah’s Ark depicts an ark and pairs of animals, including elephants, leopards, donkeys, snakes, bears, lions, ostriches, camels, sheep and goats. The scene of the parting of the Red Sea shows Pharaoh’s soldiers being swallowed by large fish, surrounded by overturned chariots with horses and chariot drivers.
“These scenes are very rare in ancient synagogues,” said Dr. Jodi Magness from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the director of excavations at Huqoq. “The only other examples that have been found are at Gerasa/Jerash in Jordan and Mopsuestia/Misis in Turkey (Noah’s Ark), and at Khirbet Wadi Hamam in Israel and Dura Europos in Syria (the parting of the Red Sea).” Read more