Thursday, August 11, 2016

Frescoes at Sepphoris

ANCIENT MURAL ART: Rare fresco fragments dating back to Roman era discovered at Zippori National Park (KATHERINE KEENAN, Jerusalem Post).
A team of archeologists sponsored by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem uncovered hundreds of fresco fragments in Tzipori National Park that date back to the second century CE, shortly after the Roman destruction of the Second Temple.

The fragments include the head of a lion, a horned animal, a bird and a tiger’s hindquarters – all of which were discovered in what was a monumental building located at the end of an ancient road in Tzipori. At least one fragment contains a depiction of a man bearing a club.

Traditionally, images depicting animals or people were not common within Second Temple period religious custom.

Archeologists are still unsure of the monumental building’s original purpose, but the significance of the frescoes found in it lies in how early they are dated, and the highly Jewish population that would have approved of them existing in a community- centered location.

The site of ancient Tzipori/Tzippori/Zippori/Sepphoris has produced many important finds. For past posts on Sepphoris, see here and follow the links. For some other ancient Jewish frescoes, see past posts on Dura Europos, Masada, Magdala, and the Roman Jewish catacombs, and follow the links