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Nilus the God of the Nile

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Nilus the God of the Nile
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This is a picture of the upper right corner of the mosaic.  It features Nilus (the male personification of the Nile) "seated on an animal from whose mouth the waters of the Nile issue.  His arms are outstretched toward two male nudes bearing gifts.   One of these figures carries a wreath in one hand and a bird in the other.  The second holds a staff used for measuring land; in the other hand, he too holds a leafy wreath.  An additional figure, also nude but his time female supports the foot of the Nile god with one hand and presents him with a wreath with her other hand." (Netzer and Weiss, p. 40)

Note the Nile River below the figure with fish swimming in it and a lotus plant with a duck sitting on it!

The overall theme of the mosaic is the joy of the people of the land at the prospect of "bumper crops" due to the bountiful water and topsoil that the Nile has delivered to the land.  Indeed, the fifth-century historian Herodotus said: "Egypt is the gift of the Nile."

The "Nile Festival Building" is the name given to a large house or public structure, that was uncovered by a team from the Hebrew University led by Ehud Netzer and Zeev Weiss.  It measures 165 x 115 ft.  Rooms were built around a central courtyard and the structure may have served as a Basilica.  It is situated near the center of the Byzantine city on the east side of the Cardo—the main street of the city. It was built around A.D. 400 and was destroyed by an earthquake in the seventh century.

Netzer, Ehud and Zeev Weiss. “A New Mosaic Art from Sepphoris.” Biblical Archaeology Review 18, no. 6 (November/December, 1992): 36–43, 78.