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August 10, 2016 1:20 pm

Frescoes From Roman Period Found in Galilee

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The back of a tiger with its tail curling, in a fresco from Zippori, dating from the early Second Century CE. Photo: G. Laron via Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The back of a tiger with its tail curling, in a fresco from Zippori, dating from the early Second Century CE. Photo: G. Laron via Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

JNS.org – Hundreds of fresco fragments from the Roman period were discovered this summer in the Zippori National Park in Israel’s Galilee region by a team from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The Roman art fragments — found during excavations led by Prof. Zeev Weiss, the Eleazar L. Sukenik Professor of Archaeology at the Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology — included figures and floral and geometric patterns, which decorated a huge building in the early second century CE.

Though past digs have uncovered frescoes at the Roman Zippori site with geometric and floral patterns, according to a Hebrew University press release,

This season’s finds are the first, only and earliest evidence of figurative images in wall paintings at the site. The finds date to the beginning of the second century CE. Parallels to these finds are virtually unknown at other Israeli sites of the same period.

The discovery in Zippori is unique and provides new information regarding murals in Roman Palestine. Zippori is well known for its unique mosaics . . . While the earliest mosaics discovered at the site date to around 200 CE, the ancient frescoes precede them by about a hundred years and are thus of great importance.

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