Hershel Shanks

The great wings beating still, Zeus in the form of a swan comes to Leda and leaves her with child in this carving on a third- or fourth-century C.E. sarcophagus from the Jewish burial vaults at Beth She’arim. Artistic representations of animal and human figures can be found throughout the Galilee even in Jewish areas, but from after the time of Jesus. The decorations and artifacts that have been found in the region contemporaneous with Jesus are simple and generally do not depict living things.