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Synagogue Zodiac

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Synagogue Zodiac
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View looking south over the main floor of the synagogue.  In the center of the image is a circular Zodiac with the sun god Helios in the center.  The Zodiac is placed within a square frame. 

Within the circle, beginning in the lower left and proceeding in a counter-clockwise direction, are a lion (Leo, Aryeh, אריה), a virgin (Virgo, Betulah, בתולה), scales (Libra, Meoznayim, מוזנים ), a scorpion (Scorpio, Aqrab) [missing archer, (Sagittarius, Kashat)], a goat (Capricornus, Gedi, גדי), a water carrier (Aquarius, Deli, ילד, spelled backwards!), two fish (Pisces, Dagim, דגים), a ram (Aries, Taleh, טלה), a bull (Taurus, Shor, שור), twins (partially preserved, Gemini, Teomin) and {missing a crab (Cancer, Sartan).  The blank horizontal strip crossing the center of the zodiac, which is outlined by two lines, is where the wall of a later building destroyed that portion of the mosaic.

At the corners are females representing the seasons of the year.  Proceeding from the lower left in a counter-clockwise direction are "Season Summer" (tequfat tamuz), "Season Autumn" (tequfat Tishri) followed by Winter (Tebeth), and Spring (Nisan).

Several bands of various colors and a guilloche form the border of this portion of the mosaic "carpet."

This synagogue dates to the 4th-5th centuries.