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

Carlos DeLuna — Wrongly Executed For Another Man’s Crime

He was the spitting image of the killer, had the same first name and was near the scene of the crime at the fateful hour: Carlos DeLuna paid the ultimate price and was executed in place of someone else in Texas in 1989, a out Tuesday found.

Law professor James Liebman and five of his students at Columbia School of Law spent almost five years poring over details of a case that he says is “emblematic” of legal system failure. DeLuna, 27, was put to death after “a very incomplete investigation. No question that the investigation is a failure,” Liebman said.

The report’s authors found “numerous missteps, missed clues and missed opportunities that let authorities prosecute Carlos DeLuna for the crime of murder, despite evidence not only that he did not commit the crime but that another individual, Carlos Hernandez, did,” the 780-page investigation found. The report, entitled “Los Tocayos Carlos: Anatomy of a Wrongful Execution,” traces the facts surrounding the February 1983 murder of Wanda Lopez, a single mother who was stabbed in the gas station where she worked in a quiet corner of the Texas coastal city of Corpus Christi.

Even though witnesses accounts were contradictory — the killer was seen fleeing towards the north, while DeLuna was caught in the east — DeLuna was arrested. DeLuna said he ran from police because he was on parole and had been drinking.


Hernandez, known for using a blade in his attacks, was later jailed for murdering a woman with the same knife. But in the trial, the lead prosecutor told the jury that Hernandez was nothing but a “phantom” of DeLuna’s imagination. DeLuna’s budget attorney even said that it was probable that Carlos Hernandez never existed.

However in 1986 a local newspaper published a photograph of Hernandez in an article on the DeLuna case, Liebman said. Following hasty trial DeLuna was executed by lethal injection in 1989. Up to the day he died in prison of cirrhosis of the liver, Hernandez repeatedly admitted to murdering Wanda Lopez, Liebman said.

Should the government hold accountable the officials involved in a faulty execution? Share your thoughts with us!

Source: Yahoo News

Image: That’s What’s Up Now