BAR 36:01, Jan/Feb 2010
Aphrodite Uncovered in Christian City
As Christianity was becoming the dominant religion of the Roman Empire, some of the pagan residents of Hippos-Sussita continued their devotions to Aphrodite. Three clay figurines of the Greek goddess of love and fertility, dating to the fourth century C.E., were discovered during the tenth excavation season at Hippos-Sussita.
Hippos-Sussita sits on a mountaintop nearly 1,150 feet above the Sea of Galilee. The city was Jewish and then pagan before becoming Christian. Head excavators Arthur Segal and Michael Eisenberg of the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at the University of Haifa began digging there after a 1990 BAR article highlighted the possibilities of the yet-untouched site.a