Ancient Mosaic Found in Israel (Aluma) Raises Questions About Early Church

And the hunt goes on…

Was thinking of you, Diane, as I came across this new find (see below). By the way, how is your research coming along?

Any of those symbols look familiar? :wink:

That is amazing, wow, oh my. Look at all the symbolism! I believe that there’s cryptic wordplay being used even the case of the the great mosaics that are being found. Maybe we can call it picture riddles.

Mushav Aluma is located 30 miles south of Tel Aviv.

Here’s another photo from the Mosaic. Look at the water birds!

"A 1,500-year-old mosaic floor with colorful images of animals, botanical and geometrical designs has been brought to light during the excavation of a Byzantine-era Christian church in southern Israel.

“The church probably served as a center of Christian worship for the neighboring communities,” the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a news release about the find, issued Wednesday. The floor and other remains of the basilica were found over the past three months during preparations for the construction of a new neighborhood at Moshav Aluma, the agency said.

The church was part of a major Byzantine settlement located next to the main road running between Ashkelon on Israel’s Mediterranean coast and Jerusalem to the east. Previous excavations along the road had found traces of other communities from the same period, but no churches.

The mosaic that was in the church’s main hall features 40 decorative medallions. Some of the medallions depict animals including a zebra, a leopard, a turtle, a wild boar and various types of birds. Three medallions contain Greek inscriptions that commemorate two church leaders named Demetrios and Herakles.

Archaeologist Daniel Varga said another mosaic features “a 12-row dedicatory inscription in Greek containing the names Mary and Jesus, and the name of the person who funded the mosaic’s construction.” Inside a pottery workshop, archaeologists found jars, cooking pots, bowls and oil lamps.

The site will be open to the public on Thursday and Friday, and eventually the mosaic will be conserved and moved into a museum for public display, the Israel Antiquities Authority said."

Huqoq…I’ve not been able to find a way to explain in a short version what I feel is going on with the Huqoq Mosaics. For now I’ll just say that I think the man holding the scroll…well his legs might not be brown, but he could be wearing sack cloth leggings. That would be a clue to where he’s from, and who he is. I did run through all the “Herods” regarding the “H”. I believe that they made it look as though they were referring to one of the Herod’s in the Mosaic, but maybe there’s a more hidden meaning. Maybe. I want to go over Herod Agrippa, Agrippa II, and even Philip once more just for fun.

Always have to remember these people had to hide a lot of things. Making it look like one thing when it was really something else. Best I can say for now.

Have you ever seen the mosaics at Hamat Teverya, (Tiberias Israel, western shore of Galilee), or Sepphoris, Tzippori, (4 miles NW of Nazareth)? I have some info on those too I can post. Ill say that I’m not thrilled with the archaeologist’s dating on these things. Just think they’re wrong. I’d have to prove that I suppose. Don’t know if I could get through all the disinfo to do it though.

Mushav Aluma Mosaic additional notes of interest.

”Among the animals depicted in the mosaic are a wild boar, a pair of mice, a giraffe, zebra, flamingo, partridge, leopard, bear, rabbit, a cage containing what appear to be birds, a pair of peacocks and a chameleon. One of the medallions, which is believed to have contained the image of a human being, was carefully destroyed.’'

Rabbit-Lepus is a constellation lying just south of the celestial equator, immediately south of Orion. Its name is Latin for hare.

Chameleon-is a small constellation in the southern sky. It is named after the chameleon, a kind of lizard

Birds-Southern Bird Constellations.
Grus is a constellation in the southern sky. Its name is Latin for the crane, a species of bird.
Pavo-is a constellation in the southern sky with the Latin name for peacock.
Phoenix- is a minor constellation in the southern sky. Named after the mythical phoenix.
Tuscan- is a constellation of stars in the southern sky,. Other names Beak Bird, Toucan,
Hornbill, Goose, maybe Pelican

     Just want to add, many cultures have found birds depicted in the stars.  These might not be the correct birds in the
     mosaic.  I'm just trying to point out that this mosaic is astrological.  It's telling a story, just have to figure out what. 

Fox-Vulpecula is a faint constellation in the northern sky. Its name is Latin for “little fox”, although it is commonly known simply as the fox. On one of the medallions, you can see the face of a fox, body has been weathered away, or destroyed.

Zebra-is a constellation in the Northern Sky. It was one of the 49 Constellations classified by Ptolemy, and remains one of the 89 constellations today.

Giraffe-Camelopardalis is a large but faint constellation in the northern sky.

Boar-The Boar-In ancient times the wild boar represent the constellation that later became
The Great Bear Ursa Major. Or the boar could be a smaller boar that is represented
by the stars that are represented in the constellation Lynx.

Now the pair of mice really has me baffled. One mouse I can find, not two mice. Someone suggested to me to just think of “the twins”. I don’t understand why they would be depicted as mice. I did find something about Mice Galaxies, that’s really interesting. I just doubt that the people back then would have known of them.

Here’s the “Aluma Mice Medallion” from the mosaic. I did check into rats too, no luck.

Here’s the Mice Galaxies

"The Mice Galaxies are two spiral galaxies in the constellation Coma Berenices. About 290 million light-years away, they began the process of colliding and merging about 290 million years ago. Their name refers to the long tails produced by tidal action—the relative difference between gravitational pulls on the near and far parts of each galaxy—known here as a galactic tide. Members of the Coma cluster, it is a possibility that both galaxies have experienced collision, and will continue colliding until they coalesce."

I just don’t think the two mice in the mosaic have anything to do with these Mice galaxies, but I could be wrong. If anyone has an idea about those 2 little mice, or rats, please share. I’m going nuts trying to find mice! Need a mouse trap. :slight_smile:

There is one more route I could take with the mice. The articles about the Aluma sight mention two church leaders named Demetrios and Herakles. I knew Herakles to be Hercules. I found where a Demetrius, (spelled with a u), and Herakles linked. This is a coin depicting him with Herakles on the back side.

Love the hat! Now they say this hat has to do with his conquests in India. But maybe he’s trying to be like Ganesha. Just a thought. That would tie in at least one mouse.

In Ancient Greece, the destructive side of Apollo was called Smitheos or Apollo Smintheus from the Greek word "sminthus" which means "mouse." Sacred mice were kept in his temple and he was believed to shoot the arrows of plague. Strangely enough, under his beneficent aspect, Apollo guarded the harvest from infestations of mice. Rats are the companions and mounts of gods such as the elephant-headed Ganesha of the Hindus and the Japanese Daikoku, god of wealth and good fortune. Mice were associated with Jupiter or Zeus and, because of their lasciviousness, Aphrodite (a.k.a. Venus), the love goddess

There’s another route to take finding this Demetrios fellow if this is the wrong guy. I haven’t gotten there just yet. Best to post what I have before it gets lost in space. To read more about the Demetrius on the coin pictured above you can link to wiki here.

Wow Diane, your research really can scatter into hundreds of directions! I’m not even sure where I’d start… but you did make an interesting comment I thought to respond to:

There is a code here, but not one that can be deciphered using the strictly modern, left brained cryptological methods. Symbolism contains the ‘many into one’ that says much on many levels using the simplest ‘packet’ of information transfer, which can only be fully unlocked by using conscious, unconscious, and super-conscious Minds together (anciently known as solar, lunar, and celestial). This requires logical thought and study along with delving deep within for autonomous thought including dream pattern analysis, and transcendental, divine states of being. These placements of Mind occur on different states of frequency, and the ancient esoteric symbolism can only be fully decoded and understood after they are clearly viewed by those adept in working on these various states of consciousness.

Takes quite a bit of work all around to get there…

Oh my, you almost make we want to throw in the towel. I just think the story is there for those with eyes to see. Some who gazed upon might see one thing, and others another thing due to their teachings. I don’t know if you have to delve quite so deep to get the general idea of what it’s saying with the dream pattern analysis, transcendental and divine states etc.

Right now I’m only picking the pieces of the puzzle apart and looking at each one’s meaning to see how it fits with the others. That’s the scattering you noticed. My feelings are that by doing that you have a better, more complete message after the parts are once again united.

Do you have an idea of what the Mosaic is trying to tell the observer? The two birds at the bottom of the cross…they appear to be bowing, or maybe they’re not exactly bowing. What type of bird do they look like to you?

Looking at the mozaics one could indeed take any one of a number of interpretations, as you say, to the individuals level of understanding. With regard the two birds at the base of the cross, I could presume there is ample sustenance from the base, and when looking at the top of the cross, other than the ancient symbology associated with earlier crosses, there is also ample sustenance above, meaning, from one perspective, that the symbology associated with the cross (in whatever form) has more than enough prana? / manna? for any seeker. I do not see the pheasants (?) bowing so much as acting as intermediaries between the physical [Earth]? and the greater physical [cosmos]?

It could also mean something quite mundane, representing scenes the artist is familiar with in his or her daily life.

short post for now… had to say hello to Lance. :slight_smile:

The birds, (pheasants) are asking your eyes to look down. What’s down there, some kind of droppings or something else. Ok, so What does the pheasant leave behind it? It can leave droppings or it can leave tracks. Pheasant tracks. Pheasant tracks are also known as pheasant stars. Pheasant stars are associated with the swastika, and with Greek Keys, (or meanders) that usually run around the border of most many ancient mosaics along with or without the more curved wave pattern, (that’s also another way of showing the Greek Key meander). If you look at the photo I shared of the Aluma Mosaic, (my water birds, lol), you can see the little red wave running around the border. Pheasant stars are associated with comets.

"The Han Dynasty Silk Comet was labelled a long tail pheasant star" Science Technology in Homer Epics

The photo below is not Aluma or Huqoq, and I don’t know where it came from, (just yet). :wink: But it’s a good example of meanders. All the familiar ones are there in one form or another.

Not saying that’s the meaning of the pheasants in this one just yet. Pheasant Tracks are just an example of what they might mean here. I have no doubt they mean something very important to the piece. Every word, every part of the mosaic as with other mosaics have hidden meanings. I just like finding them. It’s fun and I learn so very much. Once you know what some things can symbolize you can put together a story. Have to think everything pictured means something. The artists took a great deal of time and thought making these, and it will take both to find out what it means. But if someone already knew…it would be so easy to see what others do not. Like you see two pheasants, and I can see falling stars.

I’m frustrated right now not being able to see all of the mosaic. All the articles about the Aluma Mosaic speak of sections they’re not showing us in photos. That could put an end to all my fun. In the meantime it’s exciting to get as far as I can go with it. Plenty more to share soon, if I don’t bore you all to death.

Right back at you, Diane.

Actually, I know very little (dah) about the symbology associated with mozaics as it has not been an area of interest in the past, but reading your writings, Diane, has definitely opened my eyes to such matters. Thank you.

As for your latest picture (the above post), to me the designs mirror one another, even though they seem to come from different periods/cultures. Even Maori has a similar border concept in the shape of either koru or waves. Interesting how possible connections can be assumed from snippets of information…

I had no idea of the link pheasants have with the arcane. Wonderful.

I didn’t mean to discourage you Diane. My point was simply to explain that decoding symbolism in general is a multilayered process, and that to be able to interpret all the messages encoded requires learning and realization on different levels. If you are looking for answers specifically on one level, it isn’t always necessary to master one’s awareness on other levels…

You get what you need when you need it. And other paths are walked after current ones are mapped.

I see several things… this particular mosaic is quite something, however, as you said above, different people see different things based on their own level of understanding, and I do not think it would be fair of me at this time to lay out the messages I see here. You have a deep, personal connection to the study of this time and place, and for the present it may be best for you to come upon these discoveries in your own time and pace.

Sometimes, outside answers hinder personal realization and growth…

Although, if you are interested in the general theory of symbolic interpretation, it is a fascinating subject we can discuss further in another dedicated thread…

I, for one, Len, would be very interested in hearing your interpretation of the symbology within this particular mosaic.

Sometimes, outside answers hinder personal realization and growth...
This is a pretty tall assumption and, from my own experiences, relates more to an individual's level of confidence in (a) their understanding of the subject, (b) their level of commitment in seeking a greater truth or understanding, and (c) a lack of confidence within and of themselves - believe me Len, you do not fall into any of these.

I’ll finish up with I have on on Demetrius and move on to some symbols in the mosaic. Maybe we can have a discussion on my interpretation of some of the symbols and your interpretation. Could make things more interesting.

So Demetrius and Herakles were the founding fathers or leaders of this particle group. Now they’re either talking about more ancient founding fathers or there’s two new fellows named Demetrius and Heracles. I’m looking into the former right now.

Demetrius I was born in 185 BC. He reigned from 161-150 BC. Ruler of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire. The Seleucid Empire controlled Israel on and off for a long period of time. He’s famous in Jewish history for his victory over the Maccabees, killing Judas Maccabaeus in Nisan, 160 BC. So there we have a reason for this Syrian King being mentioned in the mosaic. Demetrius acquired his surname of Soter, or Savior, from the Babylonians, whom he delivered from the tyranny of Timarchus.

Format: Paperback Anabasis: Demetrius Soter, the Saviour King of Bactria and the Indo Greeks. By Geoffrey Storey

Demetrius, King of Bactria, and his people were Hellenes, who carried Hellenism to the limits of their world. They are a largely forgotten people who lived out their lives geographically isolated from their parent culture, separated by thousands of miles from the lands whence their ancestors had come. These people were the successors of Alexander the Great and his followers, who settled at the furthermost tip of his Empire, in the north of modern Afghanistan, then called Bactria, and the vast lands surrounding it.

His lifetime saw great conflicts which changed the course of history, the clashes not only of armies, but of great religions and philosophies which still influence our modern thought, including those of Aristotle, the Buddha, Zoroaster, the Yahweh of the Hebrews, the Jains and the Hindus.

In this novel Demetrius’ life and times are seen through the eyes of a family who were to be among his closest associates. They lived through dramatic times in which the Hellenes not only struggled to survive, but against all the odds extended their culture to faraway places. Their story is told against a backdrop of political and ideological battles dominated by murderous Hellenistic dynastic intrigue.

Their lives are overshadowed throughout by Demetrius, surnamed both Soter or Saviour, and Aniketos, the Invincible, who undertook an incredible Anabasis, an advance to the ends of the earth, backed only by the resources of what had been an insignificant outer province of Empire, a military expedition that beggars the imagination.

Sounds like a great book, I just might read that one! I like stories about underdogs.

So…Story goes Demetrius married his sister sister Laodice V, by whom he had three sons Demetrius II Nicator, Antiochus VII Sidetes and Antigonus. I find this a lot, and you eventually get over it, no longer shocking to me. Everybody married their sister. Must be a bloodline thing. :wink: You can also see how it gets confusing…there was 3-4 rulers named Demetrius. Following their coinage you can see what they looked like, and you can follow just who had the Omphalos Stone at the time. If they had it it was usually on their coins. Demetrius appears to have had the stone, and I know his son Nicator had it. I want you to forget about the man with the elephant hat, (still diggin that hat), because I don’t think at this point he’s our Demetrius.

Coin is dated from 162-150 BC. I can’t get into the Omphalos stones right now. But you can see Demetrius sitting on one here, (oh my), and it’s usually pictured covered with a net and sea shells. It’s believed that the stone was a meteor. It had magical powers and it was from the gods. They fought over it, stole it from each other etc. Think the only place it wasn’t welcome was Rome. That’s another story. :wink:

Anyway, our Demetrius’s downfall was due to…

Demetrius' downfall may be attributed to Heracleides, a surviving brother of the defeated rebel Timarchus, who championed the cause of Alexander Balas, a boy who claimed to be a natural son of Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Heracleides convinced the Roman Senate to support the young pretender against Demetrius I.

Heracliedes means descendant of Hercules. There’s a Hercules and Demetrios together in one historical event. An event that would be remembered.

Thanks Lance, but like I said, it is multilayered and would be a long post. I may chime in here or there where there may be some confusion or to aid the process of self learning.

It is not an assumption at all to realize that personal epiphanies are much more profound than ones recited to you from an outside source. My personal interest lies in helping others understand the process of interpreting symbology, rather than explaining aspects of symbols not commonly seen. Will do so when necessary, but not my preferred way. In the future, when we discuss the theories of interpreting symbols themselves, I will get back to some of these as concrete examples. Until then, I surely am enjoying all the research coming through and look forward to more!

I’ve been on the Aluma Mosaic all day. I’m moving forward in time, (timeline), now. I have two more “Demetrius” coming up. Both have a Hercules connection. One was a Pope, and the other a Martyr. If nothing else I get to learn and share history.

I have a symbol question for anyone that knows or has a thought to share. At the top of the cross there’s a kind of hook. I’m coming up with lamp oil handle. I know I should know that shape…I should know…stuck on lamp handle because that’s the symbol I recognize, and I can’t seem to find anything outside my box. It won’t stop me from continuing, just adds more to the mystery. :slight_smile: Any thoughts out there?

It is also the shape of a shepherd’s crook on the top of the staff…

Yes, thought of that first. I went though the regular shepherds staff, and wasn’t getting anywhere. That up curve on the end of the loop was throwing me off. I’m sure it’s significant in some way. But you did bring me back to the cane, just what I needed. A Bishops Cane, a “crosier”. Thank you!


This is the pastoral staff of a Bishop–a staff with its head curled round something in the manner of a shepherd’s crook, from which some have supposed it to be derived (See Plate 25). This ancestry is by no means certain. Another theory is that it is the descendant of the lituus or crook, which was one of the emblems carried by the Roman augur in pre-Christian days. Certainly the pastoral staff, as depicted in some of the earliest Christian monuments, is practically identical with this augur’s wand, for the primitive crosier seems to have been much shorter in the stem than its modern equivalent. Indeed, the lengthening of the staff probably occurred only when it began to be made of materials so heavy that it was advisable to support its weight upon the ground. It is unquestionably one of the earliest external symbols which the Church prescribed for her officers, for crosiers have been found illustrated in the catacombs, and a staff alleged to be that of St. Peter is preserved in the cathedral of Trier or Trêves.

  Both the material of the staff and its shape have varied considerably.  In the beginning it was a wooden rod, generally of cedar, cypress or ebony, often gilt or overlaid with silver plates.  Soon the head began to be made of precious metal or carved ivory, and later the whole staff was of ivory or enamelled metal.  The Irish crosiers were often bronze, decorated with wonderful interlacing knots or bands.  In modern days the 528whole staff is usually of brass or silver heavily gilt, and sometimes richly jewelled, though this is unnecessary.

  Many forms were tried in the early centuries, and we meet with Y and T shaped heads as well as knobs, volutes and crooks.  The head of the bronze Irish crosier is almost an inverted U.  By the eleventh century the crook form was universally adopted, except in the Greek Church, which still retains the T shape, the crosspiece being generally made of two serpents, apparently threatening each other.  Even in the Western Church there are still three variants of the crook, as will be seen from our illustration (Diagram 18).  The centre of the volute often represents some sacred incident, some Saint or Angel, or some symbolical or heraldic device--a lamb, a bunch of grapes, a Host and chalice.  The knob is frequently very elaborate, often serving the purposes of a reliquary.

  In the Liberal Catholic Church we use any of these three forms, with a preference for that on the right of our diagram, as being better balance, and having the centre of the volute more directly above the knob, which obviates an awkward angle in the flow of the force.  As in the case of the Altar-stone, we substitute the set of seven magnetized jewels for the relic inside the knob, arranging them just as for the Altar.

  The crosier has been considered in all ages the symbol of authority and jurisdiction.  It must not be confused with the special cross which marks the dignity of the Archbishop.  The latter has his own crosier, like any other Bishop, and uses it at the same points of the Service; but in addition to that a kind of processional cross which he does not use is carried before him as he enters, leaves or moves about the church.

  Regarding from the point of view of its inner effect, the crosier is an instrument of the greatest value.  The insertion of the jewels makes it equivalent to a portable Altar-stone, and in addition to that it is provided with an unique arrangement of the application of spiritual force to the different principles or divisions of man.  The curves of the volute are used for this purpose, and they divide themselves automatically into three parts, as shown in our drawing (See Diagram 18).  It would be advantageous to mark off these divisions by physical partitions or discs of such substance as chalcedony, chrysoprase, jade or jasper; but this seems to present serious difficulties to the manufacturer.  Fortunately it is easy for a magnetizer to make them etherically.

  The knob in which the gems are set is the focus and fount of activity--an intense centre of living fire, from which the force shoots up into the volute.  All forms of the energy are present there, but the etheric is the outermost and the most prominent--so prominent that it would not be surprising of physical cures could be effected by its touch.  The first partition or filter is arranged to arrest etheric matter, so that only the astral, mental and still higher manifestation of the force can pass through it.  The curve of the volute to some extents slackens the speed of the uprush, and makes it easier for us to direct it.  In this portion between the first and second partitions the astral expression of the force is its outermost and most conspicuous manifestation, and so it is from this curve of the staff that the influence proceeds which is principally active in stimulating devotion, and both arousing and controlling the emotions of the people.

 The second partition throws back all astral matter, so beyond that it is the mental aspect of the energy which is most in evidence, and its tendency is to encourage high and clear thinking, and generally to vivify mental processes.  The third partition strains away even the lower mental matter, so that only the higher mental matter of which the causal body is built can pass through into the central ornament which terminates the volute, which is consequently capable of exercising a most powerful influence upon the ego or soul of the man who is sufficiently developed to be able to lay himself open to it.  That does not in the least mean that special cleverness is required, but only that a man should be in a humble, grateful and receptive frame of mind.  For truly as He has said, the Christ stands and knocks at the door of man's heart, and waits to be admitted, but He never forces His way in.

  For still higher levels no special part of the crosier is reserved; they cannot be confined or localized quite in the same way as those others.  The whole staff is permeated with the influence of the intuitional world, for that can penetrate all principles at any level if people will only let it.  The projections or spikes which are generally to be seen on the curves of the volute allow these different grades of force to flow out readily from their respective sections of the crosier upon the people.

  Crosiers are often richly ornamented and heavily jewelled.  When the latter is to be done, it is appropriate to have a sapphire (or several of them) upon the 532knob containing the gems, jasper or topaz upon the first or etheric division, rubies upon the second or astral, emeralds or jade upon the third, which is mental, and a diamond or an amethyst in the centre to mark the fourth.

  The practical action of the crosier during the various Services of the Church is exceedingly powerful, and embraces quite a bewildering complication of details.  It works simultaneously in several directions.  It acts upon the Bishop, it receives from him, and it rays out power upon the congregation.  At some points of the Service the Bishop has to hold it, so that its force may mingle with his; at others it is sufficient that it be held beside him or carried in front of him.  When he administers Confirmation, for example, it is held beside him while he accepts the candidate in Christ's Name, but he takes it in his hand when he utters the words of power: "Receive the Holy Ghost."  He holds it when giving absolution and benediction, and it is wonderful to see how its ever-present glow swells into a blinding light as the words are uttered, the central point showing three star-like points, white, blue and rose.  To see these points needs a high development of clairvoyance, for they are an expression the Triple Spirit in the Christ, and can be perceived only through the reflection of the same Spirit in us.

  We have examined many crosiers, and the Services in many churches; the same links are made in every case, but unfortunately they are often allowed to remain sterile.  Most Bishops and Priests know nothing 533about them, naturally enough; it is not necessary that they should know, though of course it is far better if they do.  Intense devotion and earnest aspiration will set all this machinery in motion, without actual perception of what is being done.  The great fact of the Holy Eucharist remains wherever there is the apostolic succession, but the outpouring of its power is often sadly limited, and what we may call the side-avenues are altogether choked and disused.

  The very information here given is sufficient to enable many a Bishop or Priest to redouble the strength and effect of his Services; but precisely those who are most in need of it would be the last to believe it or profit by it.  Nothing is sadder to one who has developed the inner sight than to encounter the blank, self-satisfied ignorance and skepticism of those who do not yet possess it; they are so sure that there can be nothing beyond what they can see, no light beyond that of their tiny lamps, and so they live like a caterpillar upon his leaf, surrounded by all the splendours of earth and sea and sky, but utterly unheeding.  Evolution steadily progresses, and even they will see on day; for Nearer and nearer draws the time, the time that shall surely be,

When the earth shall be filled with the glory of God, as the waters cover the sea.

Oh bam! Got it. Thank you for bringing me back to the shepherds staff. I had wandered away from it. But now when I look at my Pope Demetrius, who was a Bishop when he got very mad at Origen it can help to date this and makes a lot of sense. I will concentrate on him. really, thank you. ;D

Bishops came later…

The analogy, and later use from bishops, is derived from John, chapter 10.

This analogy is also further clarified in the Kailedy.

Finding a cross like this one has been a lot harder than I thought it would be. They called it a Chi Rho symbol. It’s more like a Tau Rho, Monogrammatic Cross or a Staurogram. The Staurogram was first used to abbreviate the Greek word for cross in very early New Testament manuscripts. A Tau-Rho is a T-Tau with a P-Rho. Then the shape of the P, (the Rho) at the top of the Aluma Cross had me baffled. Looked Egyptian, looked like a oil lamp handle, or as Len posted a shepherds crook/staff.

The Aluma Cross shows the transition from a traditional Egypto-Roman Religion to Christianity. The cross displays traditional forms belonging to both religions. In my opinion making the cross Coptic/Egyptian-Christian. Unlike a Chi Rho, the X-shaped St. Andrew’s cross has been replaced by a large Greek cross. The only remainder of the Rho is a small P-shaped “handle” at the top of the cross. The result is a Tau-Rho with strong resemblance and symbolic connection both to the Greek cross and to the ankh cross.

Indeed a tough one, not your standard form of cross. The photo below is from a 4th Century Coptic Christian “Codex Glazier”. I think our Pheasants need to turn into Peacocks. :-\ There’s more than one reason for this, not just because of the below photo, but the Demetrius I’m concentrating on now has a lot to do with Easter. I need to have a talking to the artist of the Aluma mosaic! I’m not liking the leopard much either. The leopard looks like a calf with teeth. His Peacocks look like Pheasants. (giggle). Ok, so the artist was no Michelangelo, but it’s a fantastic piece.

Ancient people believed that the flesh of a peafowl did not decay after death, and it so became a symbol of immortality. This symbolism was adopted by early Christianity, and thus many early Christian paintings and mosaics show the peacock. The peacock is still used in the Easter season especially in the east."

The next photo is an Ancient Coptic Christian wall carving at the Temple Of Isis Philae near Aswan Egypt. Shows the presence of Copts from an earlier era in the Egyptian Region. I’m using it to show the shape of the ends of the cross, the 4 Points, (dots at positions North, South, East And West), the Shepherd Crooks, and the relationship to the Ankh.

The below photo is of Coptic funerary reliefs, (5th-6th century AD), that show the transition in Egypt from traditional Egypto-Roman religion to Christianity. Finally found the exact cross today, on a gravestone no less. In identifying Ra/Helios with Christ, one passes symbolically from pagan (Life in Ra) to Christian (Life in Christ) faith and belief. Look at the center cross.

Think it’s safe to say Aluma is a Coptic=Egyptian Christian site?

To say it is purely Coptic is problematic as the site was found in Israel, although there are some of those elements there… along with a few Greek ones.

But I am surprised that you haven’t yet noticed that the artistic design (geometry, symbols, and styles) is more Keltic than it is Greek, Egyptian, or Hebrew. And that it was found in Israel opens up a story in Christian history that few even suspect… :wink:

I say it’s time to dance! I knew, I can see…I couldn’t sell it. Not enough hard info. If I pushed that fact one might say I’m not open minded. The Coptic and Keltic link is there and I can’t deny that. It’s not me who said their church founders were Demetrios & Herakles. I’d love for it to be written that the founders of the Aluma Church were Keltic, but that’s not what they’re saying the translated Greek words are saying. It’s all related either way.

From the Desert- Coptic and

Time to dance indeed! ;D

Any art historian worth their salt would stake their reputation on the connection here. The fact that language scholars can’t tell green from blue only tells us that their expertise is limited and lacking a multidisciplinary approach.

But yes, it is all related… :wink: