Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Zippori

Zippori, or Sepphoris, is north of Nazareth and was the largest city in Galilee in the Christian era. This was supposedly the home of Mary's parents, Anne amd Joachim. When Jesus peaches about the big city, he was likely referring to this town, though he never mentions it by name.

This was a major center of learning and trade, with what apparently was a master's shop of tiled mosaics. Of interest, Rabbi Yehuda HaNassi lived in this city in the year AD 170-200 and was the major compiler of the Jewish Mishna. This town was easily within a half day's walk of Nazareth, and is likely where Jesus learned to speak more than one language and to read Hebrew and become familiar with the Old Testament, as it was a major center for rabbinical studies at the time.

In the pictures below, archaeologists have discovered what appears to be a Roman era mall and mosaic showroom. They think this because the mosaics in each section of the floor are of a different type, making it a showroom for buyers to see the various selections.
Crusader Fortress

The Mona Lisa of the Galilee Mosaic
A crusader fortress was built on top of the earlier Roman buildings on the hill of the city some centuries later. During its Roman heyday, Zippori had a 4000 seat Roman amphitheater, streets, a water system, public buildings, a mall, and many other structures that have been unearthed by Archaeologists. Of particular note is the magnificent mosaics that have been uncovered, including one in the reconstructed Roman villa (see pictures) and a Dionysian mosaic floor with a woman's face, known as the "Mona Lisa of the Galilee."

Pezman419's Zippori album on Photobucket

1 comment:

The Underground Pewster said...

Nice slideshow. A couple of blurry images sneaked in however.