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A routine archaeological inspection in Israel has revealed new finds, when baths dating from the 1st century were discovered.
The bathroom walls were made of plaster and were adorned with many paintings and inscriptions in Aramaic, common during the 1st century. Among the symbols that were drawn, images of a ship, palm trees and plants of different species have been observed.
According to the directors of the excavation representing the Israeli Antiquities Authority, Royee Greenwald and Alexander Wiegmann, there is no doubt that the discovery of a concentration of inscriptions from this time and in that state of conservation it is a unique and fascinating. The meaning of the inscriptions are still a mystery, some of them seem to indicate names.
The symbols drawn on the walls are similar to other visual arts during the 1st century. Excavators claim that symbols can be interpreted as secular or religious symbols with deep spiritual significance.
Researchers are now faced with questions such as what is the relationship between symbols and inscriptions and why they were drawn in those bathrooms; who is responsible for the drawings: was it one person or was it several? Is it decoration or was it intended to convey a religious or spiritual message?
Wall paintings are so sensitive that exposure to air has caused damage to them. As soon as the inscriptions were discovered, the Israeli Antiquities Authority began implementing complex conservation measures. The remains have been transferred to the laboratory of the Israeli Antiquities Authority for treatment and conservation. In the future, the Authority will expose the entries to the public.