(CNN) — Archaeologists are reveling in the discovery of an ancient synagogue in northern Israel, a “monumental” structure with a mosaic floor depicting the biblical figure of Samson and a Hebrew inscription.


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The synagogue — dating to the fourth and fifth centuries in both the Talmudic and late Roman periods — is in Huqoq, an ancient Jewish village in the country’s Galilee region, the Israeli Antiquities Authority said.

Jodi Magness, a professor of early Judaism in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said the building was found in a recent excavation.

She called the find “exciting” and described the “very high quality of the artwork” in the mosaic, crafted with “tiny colored stone cubes.” Only a few late Roman period synagogues contained mosaics with biblical scenes, said Magness, one of the leaders of a U.S., Israeli and Canadian team engaged in the digs.

“This discovery is significant,” she said, calling the site “extraordinary” and “stunning.”

Read More at CNN. By Joe Sterling.


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