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© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Unknown,

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.
Name/Title
Gerasa Synagogue, The Flood mosaic panel | Unknown
Object Detail
synagogue mosaic
Settings
Unknown
Date
5th century - 530 CE
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Jordan | Jerash
| in situ
Site
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Period Detail
Collection
Unknown |
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Tesserae material: Limestone
Material Stucture
Limestone
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Unknown
Density
Unknown
Colors
Unknown
Construction material
Measurements
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
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.
Extant
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
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
Urban significance
Significance Rating
Languages of inscription
Unknown
Type of grave
Unknown
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
Codicology
Scribes
Script
Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
Catchwords
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
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 Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Coin
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Denomination
Signature
Colophon
Scribal Notes
Watermark
Hallmark
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
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.
Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
The mosaic floor was discovered under a church apse, that was built over the synagogue in 530 CE.
Main Surveys & Excavations
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.
Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
Levana Tsfania | 1999
Researcher
| 1999
Architectural Drawings
|
Computer Reconstruction
|
Section Head
| 1999
Language Editor
|
Donor
|
Negative/Photo. No.
079026