Archaeologists Discover Ancient Mosaic Of Biblical Character Samson

A glittering mosaic of colored stones once decorated an ancient synagogue floor with scenes of the Biblical hero Samson getting revenge on the Philistines.

This newly excavated discovery in the ancient Jewish village of Huqoq not only depicts an unusual scene — Samson tying torches to foxes’ tails in order to burn his enemies’ crops — it’s also remarkably high-quality, said dig archaeologist Jodi Magness of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The mosaic decorates part of a synagogue dating back to about A.D. 400 to 500. The building appears to be made of large, “beautifully cut” blocks of stone, Magness said, suggesting an expansive structure.


The mosaic, which is incomplete, depicts several scenes. In one, two female faces flank a Hebrew inscription about rewards for people who perform good deeds. In the other, Samson, of the biblical story Samson and Delilah, ties torches to pairs of foxes, an event described in the Book of Judges in both the Christian and Hebrew Bibles. It’s this scene that is depicted in the mosaic. It’s an “unusual” subject, Magness said, because only two other synagogues have been found that depict Samson at all, much less a fiery scene of revenge. But one of the other ancient synagogues that does depict Samson is only a few miles from the newly excavated building, Magness said.

The archaeologists uncovered the mosaic last week. A student on his first dig was carefully scraping away at the dirt with a hoe when he felt the hard surface of the mosaic. He called Magness over, and they carefully excavated, brushing away dirt to reveal a colorful female face staring back at them, exposed to the light of day for the first time in 1,500 years.

Do you know the story of this Biblical character Samson? Why do you think he was unusually popular in the area where the ancient mosaic was found?

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Mere News

Dawn Loggins: From Janitor To Ivy League

Dawn Loggins was homeless at the start of the school year, abandoned by her drug-abusing parents. She got a janitorial job through a school workforce assistance program. She’s grateful for the work. But it’s where she’s going next, beyond the walls of Burns High School, that excites her most.

Dawn grew up in a ramshackle home with no electricity and no running water. She often went days, even weeks without showering. She and her brother Shane — who was equally studious in his schoolwork — would walk 20 minutes to a public park to fetch water. Burns High was their fourth high school since middle school, as they moved from town to town. Shane was outgoing, but Dawn always appeared more reserved.

For a while, Dawn lived on the odd couch at friends’ homes, while she figured out what to do. Sometimes, she slept on the floor. The only thing that was clear was that she wanted to in Lawndale, where she was active in extracurricular activities, had a boyfriend and had a job. With her parents gone, she processed the options with her guidance counselor, who helped her find a new home and process her college applications.


Dawn applied to four colleges within the state: the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; North Carolina State University; Davidson College; and Warren Wilson College. In December, she sent one final application off in the mail, to her reach-for-the-stars choice, Harvard. Months passed. She was accepted to the four schools in North Carolina. And finally, she received an acceptance letter from Harvard! In addition to that, she was offered tuition, room and board, as well as assistance finding an on-campus job.

Dawn has learned the sort of lessons that can’t be learned in school. “I love my parents. I disagree with the choices that they’ve made. But we all have to live with the consequences of our actions,” she said. She takes it all in stride. “If I had not had those experiences, I wouldn’t be such a strong-willed or determined person.”

She might just find Harvard to be easy, don’t you think? Did Dawn Loggins’ story inspire you? Share your thoughts with us!

Source: CNN

Image: Patheos