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Sepphoris Zippori

the ancient Jewish /Hebrew city of the Galilee

Josephus called Sepphoris “the ornament of all Galilee.” Herod Antipas chose this site in 4 B.C. as the capital of his government. He most likely built the theater as well. Josephus said Sepphoris was the largest city in Galilee and an exceptionally strong fortress at the time of the First Revolt in 66 A.D. The people of Sepphoris supported Vespasian in the Jewish Revolt, surrendering to the Romans and thus preventing the destruction of the city (War III.2.4). They even minted coins in honor of Vespasian as the “peace maker.”










the theater







Colonnaded Street













Nile Mosaic

In one large building are many mosaic floors, including the Nile mosaic in the largest room. This mosaic shows festivities in Egypt when the Nile reached its peak. The lighthouse from Alexandria, the Pharos, is also depicted. This was one of the seven wonders of ancient world. The tower in the center of the hunting scene is a Nilometer, which was used to measure the rise of the Nile during the inundation.




"Mona Lisa"

At the summit near the theater is a large dining room floor from the beginning of the 3rd century A.D. The house was built around a colonnaded yard and had two floors. The building included a central triclinium and was most likely the home of an important Gentile person. It might have been the city or district governor. The triclinium mosaic includes 1.5 million stones in 28 colors. The beautiful woman in the mosaic is known today as the “Mona Lisa of the Galilee.” She is depicted wearing a laurel garland and earrings. A similar figure was on the southern side of the frame and can still be partly seen today.















































Hebrew and Latin scripts



 

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It's amazing how well-preserved a lot of those mosaics are.

You'd think 2,000 years of degradation would leave them completely ruined, but apparently not.
 
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