© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Unknown, ???
Engravings of men and animals are placed on the back wall of the room. They include from left to right: a strange large animal represented in profile with a large head and an open mouth; two heads, one behind the other with upper part of the body of a man in profile facing right; an animal drawn in profile, facing left; a rough drawing of a quadruped; a rough sketch of a falling man; and a falling man situated below figures. He is represented diving headlong, with the body in profile and the head en face, as if turned sideways. His body is rectangular, shown with simple lines. It is decorated with criss-cross pattern.
Beth She'arim, Catacomb 4 | Unknown
early 3rd century - mid-4th century
Synagogue active dates
Documentation / Research project
Material / Technique
Soft rock engraved in the form of men and animals.
No damage can be seen. The engraving was not completed.
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Languages of inscription
Type of grave
Number of Lines
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Summary and Remarks
The head of the animal drawn in profile is represented by a rough circle; its eye is indicated by a dot, its tail by a horizontal line, and its legs by four perpendicular lines ending in horizontal strokes pointing leftwards. Mazar claims that the animal may represent a lion. The details of the face of the diving man are drawn in dots and lines; the hair is indicated by lines springing from the skull; the legs are indicated by two long lines ending $$9in feet; the hanging arms are represented by double lines running in continuation of the lines of the body; all five fingers of the hand are indicated. Mazar identifies the criss-cross decoration of the rectangle as a tunic. Mazar claims that this composite scene has a $$9specific meaning. The drawing is primitive and carelessly executed. See bibliography.
Main Surveys & Excavations
Mazar, Beth She'arim: Raport on the Excavations During 1936-1940, 1973 vol.I, pp.185-187, pl.XXXVI:5.
| T.M. 7.1982 D.S. 1992 K.B. 11.1995
Author of description
National Parks Authority