Ancient Treasures and the Dead Sea Scrolls

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Byzantine Mosaic Representing David

Byzantine mosaic representing David
Byzantine mosaic representing David.
Collection of Israel Antiquities Authority, exhibited at The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Photo © The Israel Museum, by Dr. Jean-Luc Pilon, Canadian Museum of Civilization

The young warrior wearing a Roman tunic is surrounded by a sword, shield and helmet. He is commonly identified as the young David with Goliath's battle gear.

Mosaics of biblical scenes frequently adorned synagogue floors of the Byzantine period. This one is probably related to the story of David's victory over the giant Goliath, recounted at length in the 1st Book of Samuel, chapter 17, a story that has inspired many artists.

The Aramaic inscription reads "Yudan son of Shimon Mani", probably the name of the man who donated the floor to the synagogue.

Audio - Curator's Tour (Dr. Adolfo Roitman)