Thursday, November 23, 2017

Inscribed mosaic excavated in Georgian church at Ashdod-Yam

ARCHAEOLOGY, DECORATIVE ART, AND EPIGRAPHY: Where Maccabees overthrew idolatry, early Georgian Christian mosaic uncovered. Ashdod, today home to the largest community of Georgian Jews in the world, was a Byzantine base for a Christian Georgian prince (Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times of Israel).
The first evidence of a Georgian Christian presence on the shores of the Holy Land was uncovered during August excavations in the ancient city of Ashdod-Yam. Dating to the Byzantine period, a Greek inscription was found on the floor of a 1,500-year-old church, which mentions the date of 292 according to the Georgian calendar.

The Ashdod-Yam inscription is the earliest known use of the Georgian calendar in the world — including in Georgia. Interestingly, according to the excavation’s lead archaeologists, modern Ashdod is now home to the largest community of Jews of Georgian origin.


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