Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Lioness carving found at el-Araj

ARCHAEOLOGY: Perfect Lioness Carving From 1,500 Years Ago Discovered in a Pile of Dirt in Israel. Basalt carving may have graced an ancient synagogue in Bethsaida, archaeologists surmise: It's like other synagogue decorations found in the area (Ruth Schuster, Haaretz).
"Moreover take thou up a lamentation for the princess of Israel, And say, What is thy mother? A lioness: she lay down among lions, she nourished her whelps among young lions." Ezekiel 19:1-2

Some people wouldn't notice an elephant statue in the room. Others glance at a pile of dirt and see ancient carvings of cats. That's how archaeologists found a relief of a lioness carved on a basalt rock weighing 600 kilograms (1320 pounds) at el-Araj, which may or may not have been the site of Bethsaida, in the Galilee.

The carving probably dates to around the 4th to 6th century C.E., says Dr. Mordechai Aviam, director of excavations at the Kinneret Academic College in the Galilee.

For the controversy over whether el-Araj was ancient Bethsaida-Julias, see here, here, here, and links

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