David Harris

A menorah dominates the upper section of the sixth century A.D. mosaic pavement from the ancient synagogue at Maon southwest of Gaza. One of the most colorful ancient mosaics, the Maon pavement contains 18 different shades of tesserae in a large single panel (29 by 15 feet). The mosaic consists of 55 round medallions of which the top two center ones in front of the apse are the focus of the design. These contain a menorah with a tripodal lion-footed base and seven glass lamps on the horizontal bar across the branches. This menorah and its accompanying symbols are typical decorative motifs in Byzantine synagogue mosaics.