Mosaic of Samson

Mosaic of Samson with Gates

Mosaic showing Samson carrying the gates of Gaza. Huqoq Excavation Project, Israel. Photograph by Jim Haberman.

This mosaic was uncovered in the synagogue of Huqoq, a village located to the northwest of the Sea of Galilee. Huqoq was inhabited in the biblical, postbiblical, and medieval periods. The synagogue building dates to the fifth century C.E. and was constructed of large ashlar blocks coated with a thick layer of white plaster on the interior. This mosaic illustrates the story of Samson taking the city gates of Gaza on his shoulders and carrying them to the top of the hill across from Hebron (Judg 16:1-3).