A Greek inscription in mosaic tiles dating back to the fifth century AD was discovered in the Israeli village of Tzur Natan, earlier this month.
According to officials from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the inscription is well-preserved and translates to English as “Only God help the beautiful property of Master Adios, Amen.”
Both archaeologists and historians believe that the man named Adios was a wealthy Samaritan landowner.
Previous excavations in the same area have also unearthed a Jewish synagogue which was converted into a Christian church during the same period, most likely around the sixth century.
”The inscription was discovered in an impressive winepress that was apparently part of the agricultural estate of a wealthy individual called Adios,” Dr. Hagit Torge explained to the Times of Israel website.
”This is only the second such winepress discovered in Israel with a blessing inscription associated with the Samaritans. The first was discovered a few years ago in Apollonia near Herzliya,” the archaeologist added.
Dr. Torge serves as the head of the Israel Lands Authority which is responsible for conducting the excavation.
The Samaritan community prospered through the third and fourth centuries AD, until the rise of Christianity during the era when the Byzantine Empire held the territories of modern Israel.
The rise of Christianity brought the beginning of the end for the larger Samaritan community as a whole.
However, communities of Samaritans still survive to this day, with small populations living at Mount Gerizim and in the region of Holon.