Israel Museum/Restoration Laboratories

Gaza Synagogue Mosaic

Location: Mediterranean coast, in northern Gaza Strip

Inscription: David (Hebrew, Dwyd)

History: David, like Orpheus, uses his music to tame the wild beasts in this sixth-century A.D. mosaic. When the Egyptian Department of Antiquities excavated the mosaic in the sands of Gaza in 1965, David’s head and left hand were intact, as shown in the black-and-white photo. But when Israeli archaeologists arrived at the site two years later, the image had been defaced, as shown in this photo.

Date destroyed: between 1965 and 1967.