This talk explores the concept and representation of post-mortem paradises in Ancient Egypt and Early China. The notion of a paradise for the worthy, accessed through personal piety, ethical conduct or ritual knowledge, developed at a particular historical moment in the development of each of these great civilizations and expressed a genuine desire on the part of regular people for salvation and immortality. These expressions would have a lasting impact on the development of paradisiacal realms in the later universal religions of Christianity and Buddhism.
Samson in Stone: New Discoveries in the Ancient Synagogue at Huqoq in Israel's Galilee Since 2011. Professor Jodi Magness has been directing excavations in the ancient village of Huqoq in Israel's Galilee. The excavations have brought to light the remains of a monumental Late Roman (fifth century) synagogue building that is paved with stunning and unique mosaics, including depictions of the biblical hero Samson and the first non-biblical story ever discovered decorating an ancient synagogue.