Synagogue mosaic of King David
|Location||Gaza, Palestinian territories|
The ancient synagogue of Gaza was built in 508 AD during the Byzantine period and was discovered in 1965. It was located in the ancient port city of Gaza, then known as "Maiumas", currently the Rimal district of Gaza City.
In 1965, Egyptian archaeologists discovered the site and announced they had uncovered a church. Later a mosaic of King David wearing a crown and playing a lyre, labelled in Hebrew, was found. The mosaic was dated to 508-09 CE and measured 3 meters (9.8 ft) high by 1.9 meters (6.2 ft) wide. It was originally described as depicting a female saint playing the harp. The Egyptian archaeologists stated that the mosaic was in fact a depiction of Orpheus, a Greek mythological figure who was commonly associated with David and used in Byzantine art. Shortly after the mosaic's discovery, David's face was gouged out. When Israel captured the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Six-Day War, the mosaic was transferred to the Israel Museum for restoration.
- Ancient synagogues. Dan Urman, Paul Virgil McCracken Flesher. pg. 368.
- Connie Kestenbaum Green. King David’s Head from Gaza Synagogue Restored, Biblical Archaeology Review Magazine (Mar/Apr 1994).
- Ancient synagogues. Dan Urman, Paul Virgil McCracken Flesher. p.73.
- Geoffrey W. Bromiley. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: E-J, p. 418.
- King David’s Head from Gaza Synagogue Restored
- Israel Museum
- The Arab Campaign to Destroy Israel, American Jewish Committee
- Mosaic museum opens in the West Bank
A. Ovadiah, "The Synagogue at Gaza," Qadmoniyot 1/4 (1968): 124-127, pls. c, d.
A. Ovadiah, "Excavations in the Area of the Ancient Synagogue at Gaza (Preliminary Report)," Israel Exploration Journal 19 (1969): 193-198.
A. Ovadiah, "Gaza Maiumas, 1976," Israel Exploration Journal 27 (1977): 176-178.
A. Ovadiah, "The Synagogue at Gaza," pp. 129–132 in Ancient Synagogues Revealed, ed. L. I. Levine. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1981.