Colour and culture in ancient judaism study of the mural paintings preserved in the archaeological site of magdala, 1st century ce (Lower galilee)

Maria Luisa Vázquez de Ágredos-Pascual, Cristina Expósito de Vicente, Marcela Zapata-Meza, Dina Avshalom-Gorni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The city of Magdala hosts one of the few synagogues constructed in ancient Israel during the first century AD and the first to be discovered in the region of Galilee. Its three most outstanding artistic manifestations are the Magdala Stone, whose iconographic motifs are said to represent the Second Temple and make it unique, the mosaic on the floor of the sacred enclosure, and the mural, surviving only partially. In our last field campaigns (2017-2018), we conducted physical-chemical analyses of these remains to identify the materials and manufacturing techniques that were used in their construction. From the results of these analyses we have been able to research economic, social and cultural issues pertaining to the society that lived in this Lower Galilean city at the beginning of the Christian era. We used a combination of microscopic, spectroscopic, chromatographic and other techniques to develop a physical-chemical characterization of the colours preserved on the walls of the synagogue. To interpret our results, we have taken into account the specialized bibliography as well as primary historical sources such as the ‘Mishnah’ and ‘Antiquities of the Jews’ by Flavius Josephus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-155
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Science and Theology
Volume16
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Ecozone, OAIMDD. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Ancient Israel
  • Culture
  • Jewish
  • Mural painting
  • Synagogue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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