Washington, Sep 17 (ANI): A wall painting of Tyche, the Greek goddess of fortune, was found during the 11th season of excavation at the Sussita site, on the east shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Another female figure was found during this season, of a maenad, one of the companions of the wine god Dionysus.
"It is interesting to see that although the private residence in which two goddesses were found was in existence during the Byzantine period, when Christianity negated and eradicated idolatrous cults, one can still find clear evidence of earlier beliefs," said Arthur Segal and Michael Eisenberg of the University of Haifa, who headed the excavation.
The city of Sussita is located within the Sussita National Park under the management of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.
During the excavations conducted by the team from the University of Concordia under the direction of Mark Schuler, in a residence that appeared, by the quality and complexity of its construction, to belong to one of the city notables, the excavators found a fresco of Tyche, who was apparently deified as the city's goddess of fortune.
Her head is crowned, her youthful gaze is focused, and she has abundant brown hair beneath her crown.
According to the researchers, artistic analysis has indicated that the wall painting may be dated to the end of the Roman period or the beginning of the Byzantine period (3rd-4th centuries C.E.).
Apart from goddess Tyche, researchers also found a wonderfully etched relief of a maenad, one of a group of female followers of Dionysus, the god of wine on a bone plate.
The researchers believe that both manifestations of the cult of Graeco-Roman female goddesses can be dated to the end of the Roman period, but there is no doubt that the residence in which they were found continued to exist even after Christianity triumphed over idolatry. (ANI)