Wednesday, November 08, 2017

More on Christians in the late-antique Galilee

ARCHAEOLOGY: 1,600-year-old church mosaic puzzles out key role of women in early Christianity. Female donor memorialized in one of seven Greek inscriptions found recently in Byzantine village churches in the Galilee (Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times of Israel).
A newly uncovered mosaic in the western Galilee speaks to the relatively high status of women in the early Church. Dating to the 5th century, a Greek-language inscription memorializes one “Sausann” (or Shoshana) as a donor for the construction of a village church. It is one of seven inscriptions — including a massive five-meter long text — which were found in three Byzantine churches during this summer’s excavations by Kinneret College archaeologist Mordechai Aviam and historian Jacob Ashkenazi.

Unusual in a patriarchal society, the donor Sausann is credited in the inscription independently of any spouse or male guardian. This Sausann is thought to have been a woman of some standing, perhaps following in the footsteps of her presumed namesake, the female disciple Susannah, who was among the women named in Luke 8:3 who provided for Jesus “out of their resources.”

I noted another article on these finds a few days ago here. But this article has some more details and, unlike the Haaretz premium article, it will not vanish behind a subscription wall.

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