New Discoveries at Huqoq Synagogue–Samson and the Foxes?
by James Tabor
Prof. Jodi Magness of UNC Chapel Hill has announced the discovery of a striking new synagogue mosaic at Huqoq, an ancient Jewish village in the Galilee, located just west of Migdal and Caparnaum. According to Prof. Magness the mosaic depicts the heads of women, an inscription in Hebrew urging congregants to perform good deeds, and two foxes with burning torches tied to their tails, representing a scene in the life of Samson (Judges 15). Magness dates the mosaic to the late Roman period (4th-5th centuries CE). Here is the link to the official Israel Antiquities Authority announcement plus a follow up story by Matti Friedman in the Times of Israel.
So far I have seen no photos of the foxes but it will be interesting to see upon what basis Prof. Magness ties them into the biblical story of Samson in the book of Judges. It is also unclear in the IAA announcement whether Samson himself is depicted or just the foxes. Congratulations to Prof. Magness and her team which includes IAA archaeologists and staff and students from a number of affiliated universities.