Ancient Greek Gods Found in Israel

5th-century BC pottery showing Dione and Aphrodite at e-Tell, Israel (Hanan Shafir / Bethsaida Excavat)

 

A 2,300-year-old image depicting the birth of the Greek goddess Athena has been unearthed by scientists studying the remains of a Biblical site in Israel, local media have reported.

The find in e-Tell, just north of the Sea of Galilee, is the second such discovery of Greek culture in the Middle East reported this week.

Three Byzantine mosaic panels were found inside an archaeological site during a Syrian army mine-clearance operation in the eastern countryside of Hama recently, according to a state-run Syrian Arab News Agency report this week.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz says the find in Galilee shows Greek gods watching Athena emerging fully grown and armed from the head of Zeus, a scene depicted at the Parthenon in Athens, the city named after the goddess.

How the Italian-origin ceramic made it to the Middle East remains a mystery.

Historians say it is exceedingly rare to find copies of Parthenon artwork outside Greece.