Ḥorvat Berachot - Church

General description: 

Mosaics paved most of the church with three main parts: The main hall, the aisles and the layout of the intercolumniations. Only a small part of the mosaic floor has been preserved (at the western end of the hall). Additionally, a vaulted crypt with a rare mosaic was discovered below the chancel. The nave (only the northwestern fragments survived) was paved with a carpet. It is framed with a main band of geometric patterns on a white background and contains squares alternating between birds and double meanders. The central and largest design consists of five rows arranged in elongated hexagons with concave ends. Each row has three octagons and circles framing animal figures. A pattern of indented squares paved the aisles on a white background, framed by a plant motif. The intercolumniations were paved with carpets containing a motif of a lozenge inscribed in a rectangle. The crypt floor is paved with a mosaic carpet surrounded by a border of six-ply guilloche. The main pattern contains rows of various flowers in diagonal lines. 


Cultivation has damaged the mosaics over time. Triangular black stones that were found may indicate the chancel was paved with opus sectile.

Dating the mosaics is a challenge but mid sixth century is the suggested for the church (Madden p.31).

Abbreviation for Journals and Series


Item number Location in the architectural complex View
1 Nave View
2 Aisles View
3 Narthex and Atrium View
4 Crypt View
5 Intercolumnar panel View