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Until the discovery of the mosaic this summer, it was unclear in which year Irenaeus was ordained as bishop of Tyre.
According to the 2011 anthology, “Episcopal Elections in Late Antiquity,” a date of circa 445 is often given.
The clear historical proof puts an old academic controversy to rest and gives credence to a date as early as 444 CE for his ordination. This inscription is a “great opportunity to connect the name on the mosaic, with that from the history books,” said Aviam.
According to Aviam, much can be learned through the inscriptions about the villagers who commissioned the mosaics.
This ideological conflict laid ground for a decades-long battle and eventual schism in the Byzantine period church.
This Sausann is thought to have been a woman of some standing, perhaps following in the footsteps of her presumed namesake, the female disciple Susannah, who was among the women named in Luke 8:3 who provided for Jesus “out of their resources.” Get The Times of Israel's Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories Free Sign Up The find buttresses the position taken by a growing number of early church scholars that women played an important role in its foundation.He said in a recent Haaretz article, “She’s an independent woman who donated money to the church, which says something about life in the Galilean village.” Co-directors of the Galilee early church excavations at their recent dig site, historian Jacob Ashkenazi and archaeologist Mordechai Aviam from the Kinneret Institute for Galilean Archaeology at the Kinneret Academic College (courtesy, Mordechai Aviam) With a three-year grant from the Israeli Science Foundation, the researchers are taking a cross-disciplinary approach to complete the first serious, modern study of Christian Galilee in late Antiquity, Aviam told The Times of Israel on Monday.Working in tandem, the rare multidisciplinary partnership of scholars is drawing from their respective fields to paint a comprehensive picture of 4th-5th century Christian life in the region.“In one church we had three pedestals which were reused in the building of the church in the walls,” he said.One had an image within a wreath, which for archaeologists is a very clear sign of pagan influence, he said.