Christian Town Destroyed by Persians 1,400 Years Ago Found in Northern Israel
Great house with Christian symbols in the Byzantine town of Pi Metzuba also had a mosaic with pagan motifs, including animals and a goddess
The remains of what was once a prosperous Christian town that was destroyed by Persian forces about 1,400 years ago have been uncovered in northern Israel, archaeologists say.
The Byzantine rural settlement of Pi Metzuba in the Western Galilee seems to have met its end in the early seventh century when Persia invaded the region as part of its broader conflict with the Byzantine Empire.
The highlight of the excavation was the discovery of a building marked with Christian symbols – that housed a high-quality mosaic decorated with floral, animal and human figures inspired by pagan iconography.
This and other treasures were unearthed in a salvage dig after the ruins of the Byzantine town were discovered during works to widen the road connecting the town of Shlomi and Kibbutz Hanita, just south of Israel’s border with Lebanon, researchers reported last week in Atiqot, a journal published by the Israel Antiquities Authority.
While the excavation was conducted in 2007, it took several years for experts to study and publish the finds from the Byzantine town, says Gilad Cinamon, the IAA archaeologist who headed the dig.