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(VII) Img. ID: 18274 Gerasa Synagogue, The Flood mosaic panel, , Gerasa, 5th cen. - 530 CE edit  
Category: Ancient Jewish Art

General Document


2 Name/Title Gerasa Synagogue, The Flood mosaic panel | Unknown
3a Object Synagogue
Mosaic floor (Decoration)
3b Object Detail
4a Artist/ Maker Unknown (Unknown)
5 Date 5th cen. - 530 CE
5a Activity Dates
5b Reconstruction Dates
6 Period Byzantine
6a Period Detail
7 Origin Provincia Arabia | Gerasa
|
8 Community Ancient
|
9 Collection Unknown |
9a Documentation / Research project Unknown
10 Location Jordan | Jerash
| in situ
11 Site Jerash
12 School/Style Unknown|
13 Iconographical Subject Noah, the Flood Story
Sanctuary Implements |
14 Category
17 Photographer Unknown
18 Photograph Date
19 Negative/ Photo. No.
19a Scan No.
20 Description

The mosaic floor is located in the nartex (vestibule). It consists of a long oblong central panel surrounded by a narrow border. In the center of the south side of the border is a panel of sanctuary implements with a Greek inscription. In it’s center is a curved seven-branched Menorah, standing on three legs. The Menorah is flanked by a Mahta and a Shofar on it’s right, and by a Lulab and an Ethrog on it’s left. The Greek inscription, inscribed in two columns on either side of the Menorah, reads as follow: “Holy place. Amen. Sela. Peace to the synagogue.”.

The left corner of the central panel was partly preserved, and shows a dove standing on a tree, carrying a branch in its beak.

Two of Noah’s sons are depicted beneath the tree, and to their right are animals, possibly all coming out from the Ark (Gen. 9) (which was possibly on the damaged part of the panel). Only the heads of Shem and Jafeth have remained, Inscribed above their heads, written in Greek: “Shem”, on the left, and “Jafeth”, on the right.

The animals on the right side of the central panel, are arranged in three rows, facing right.

The upper row shows the birds including doves, peacocks, and geese; the middle row portrays the beasts, such as horses, sheep, and gazelles; while the lower row contains reptiles and beasts, such as a hare and snakes.

The border frieze depicts beasts pursuing each other on the north side of the panel.

The panel was designed to be viewed from the south.

  1. Sukenik suggests that the beasts on the border panel describe the situation before the flood.
  2. Goodenough asserts that the beasts in the border symbolize immortality and after life.
  3. The mosaic floor is covered, and therefore was not documented by CJA.
 
21 Ornamentation
22 Custom
23 Contents
24 Codicology
24a Scribes
24b Script
24c Number of Lines
24d Ruling
24e Pricking
24f Quires
24g Catchwords
24h Hebrew Numeration
24i Blank Leaves

25 Material/Technique
Tesserae material: Limestone
25a Material Structure Limestone
25b Material Decoration
25c Material Bonding
25d Material Inscription
25e Material Additions
25f Material Cloth
25g Material Lining
25h Tesserae Arrangement Unknown
25i Density Unknown
25j Colors Unknown
25k Construction Material

26 Measurements
26a Height
26b Length
26c Width
26d Depth
26e Circumference
26f Thickness
26g Diameter
26h Weight
26i Axis
26j Panel Measurements
27 Direction/Location
27a Façade (main)
27b Entrances
27c Location of Torah Ark
27d Location of Apse
27e Location of Niche
27f Location of Reader's Desk
27g Location of Platform
27h Temp: Architecture Axis
27i< Arrangement of Seats
27j Location of Women's Section
27k Direction Prayer
27l Direction Toward Jerusalem

28 Coin
28a Coin Series
28b Coin Ruler
28c Coin Year
28d Denomination

29 Signature
30 Colophon
31 Scribal Notes
32 Watermark
33 Hallmark
33a Group
33b Subgroup
33c Hallmark Identification
33d Hallmark Group Classification
33e Hallmark Reference
34 Trade Mark
35 Binding
36 Decoration Program
36 Summary and Remarks
1. Sukenik suggests that the beasts on the border panel describe the situation before the flood. 2. Goodenough asserts that the beasts in the border symbolize immortality and after life. 3. The mosaic floor is covered, and therefore was not documented by us.
38 Suggested Reconstruction
39 History/Provenance
The mosaic floor was discovered under a church apse, that was built over the synagogue in 530 CE.
40 Main Surveys & Excavations
41 Condition
The left and right ends of the central panel were badly damaged. Only the upper part of the left side has preserved. The center of the first row of the fowl is partly damaged.
42 Biography
43 Bibliography
C.H. Kraeling, Gerasa - City of the Decapolis, ASOR, New Haven, 1938, pp. 236-239. S. Fine, Sacred Realm, Oxford, 1996, pp. 119, 170-171. E L. Sukenik, Beth Alpha, p. 55-56, note no. 4. Googenough, Vol. I, pp. 259-260. J.W. Crowfoot, and R.W., Hamilton, The Discovery of a Synagogue at Jerash, PEQ, Vol. ???? (1930), pp. 211- 219.
43a Short Name
43b Full Name
43c Volume
43d Page

44 Type
194021
45 Temp: Batch Number
194 | 021
46 Temp: Aleph Number
47 Temp: Sys. Number / Doc. Name
18274
48 Temp: Addenda

Registrar
Function: Name: Date:
49 Documenter Levana Tsfania 1999 49a
50 Researcher 1999 50a
51 Architectural Drawings 51a
52 Computer Reconstruction 52a
53 Section Head 1999 53a
54 Editor 54a
55 Donor 55a