Skip to main content

Photos: Unusual Mosaics Decorated Ancient Synagogue in Israel

Richly colorful mosaics unearthed from an archaeological dig in northern Israel tell stories both secular and biblical. From gold-armored elephants to Samson and his flowing locks, images on the mosaics share vivid tales of times long gone. The dig is ongoing and led by archaeologists Jodi Magness, a professor of early Judaism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Magness is working with Israeli authorities as well as students from UNC Chapel Hill. (All images courtesy of Jim Haberman.) [Read the full Huqoq mosaic discovery story]

Theater mask

A section of the mosaic showing a theater mask uncovered in summer 2015 at an archeological dig in the town of Huqoq in northern Israel.

Prancing elephant

A section of the mosaic showing an elephant discovered in 2013. This section is part of the larger mosaic exposed in summer 2015.

In command

Archaeological dig leader Jodi Magness standing on a wall within the excavation site.

Samson's Feat

A section of the mosaic showing Samson carrying the gate of Gaza discovered in 2013 at an archeological dig in the town of Huqoq in northern Israel.

Team effort

Students pulling out stones in the archaeological dig in Huqoq, Israel in 2013.

Tireless work

Moving dirt at the archaeological dig in Huqoq, Israel.

Elizabeth Goldbaum is on Twitter. Follow Live Science @livescience, Facebook & Google+.

Elizabeth Goldbaum
Staff Writer
Elizabeth is a staff writer for Live Science. She enjoys learning and writing about natural and health sciences, and is thrilled when she finds an evocative metaphor for an obscure scientific idea. She researched ancient iron formations in China for her Masters of Science degree in Geosciences at the University of California, Riverside, and went on to Columbia Journalism School for a master's degree in journalism, focusing on environmental and science writing.