A pagan amulet used by a senior clergyman at the church in Hippos (Sussita), a fresco depicting the Greek goddess Tyche on a wall by the church; and a figurine of one of the regular participants in the alcohol-soaked processions devoted to the god of wine Dionysus all tell the story of ancient Hippos during the transition from the pagan Roman period to the Christian-Byzantine era. These and other findings are on display in a new exhibition in the University of Haifa’s Hecht Museum entitled Before the Earth Shook: the Ancient City of Hippos-Sussita Emerges. “The case of Hippos clearly shows how in the center of the city, the residents – including Christian clergy – openly and publicly continued to use the pagan emblems of the Roman era,” explains Dr. Michael Eisenberg of the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at the University of Haifa, who is directing the excavations at Hippos.The site of Hippos-Sussita has produced many exciting artifacts and architectural finds. For past PaleoJudaica posts, start here and follow the links.
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