In the town of Sepphoris, thought to be the place where the Mishnah was redacted, archaeologists have unearthed a series of elaborate 2nd-century-CE frescoes unlike anything else found from this time and place. Robin Ngo writes:
Just four miles north of Nazareth, Sepphoris was a thriving urban center during the . . . 1st century CE. With the conclusion of the first Jewish Revolt against Rome in 70 CE, the ancient Jewish historian Josephus reports that the residents of Sepphoris welcomed the Roman garrison [rather than risk destruction by resisting].
Following the revolt, in the late 1st through 3rd centuries, the city experienced a building boom with the construction of . . . public buildings, a marketplace, a theater, an aqueduct system, and public bathhouses. . . .
The fragments [of the newly discovered frescoes] display a variety of bright colors and designs, including geometric and floral patterns. Of special interest are fragments depicting both human and animal figures: a lion, a bird, a tiger, a horned animal—maybe a bull—and a man holding a club. . . .
Who commissioned the building of this monumental structure decorated with colorful frescoes? Was the person Jewish? Roman?
Archaeologists are still seeking answers.