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Mosaic of Menorah with Lulav and Ethrog

Date:
6th century
Geography:
Made in Tunisia, excavated Hammam Lif Synagogue
Medium:
Stone tesserae
Dimensions:
22 5/8 x 34 15/16 x 1 3/4 in. (57.4 x 88.8 x 4.4 cm)
Classification:
Mosaics
Credit Line:
Brooklyn Museum, New York, Museum Collection Fund (05.26)
  • Description

    The Hammam Lif Synagogue
    A large mosaic found at the Tunisian town of Hammam Lif is so closely aligned with regional conventions that its structure was first identified as a Byzantine church. The presence of a Latin dedicatory inscription identifying the site as "Sancta Sinagoga" (Holy Synagogue), flanked by two Menorahs, revealed that it was a synagogue. The floor consisted of four mosaic carpets, integrating distinctly Jewish symbolism with popular motifs of the period, including a lion.
    The menorah was often depicted flanked by symbolic ritual objects. Here, what appear to be the ethrog (citron) and lulav (date-palm branch) of the festival of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) were altered during restoration of the mosaic.

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