Jewish Mosaic of a Date Palm

Illustration

James Blake Wiener
by
published on 16 October 2017

This mosaic was once part of the mosaic found in an ancient synagogue in what's present-day Tunisia. This specimen dates from c. 550 CE and is made of stone and mortar. The date palm likely symbolized the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life, from the Garden of Eden. For the Jews of Hammam-Lif, Tunisia--located just outside of Tunis--it also evoked the holy city of Jerusalem or "Zion." The former Jewish capital was a place often represented in art by the date palm as dates were a major export crop of that region. (Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York)



About the Author

James Blake Wiener
James is a writer and former Professor of History. He holds an MA in World History with a particular interest in cross-cultural exchange and world history. He is a co-founder of Ancient History Encyclopedia and its Communications Director.

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