During a 2017 exploration of a ruined settlement in the Negev desert, art historian Emma Maayan-Fanar entered an ancient church to seek shelter from the bright sun. As she looked up at the roof, however, she saw something remarkable. And the dirty, damaged painting above was unlike any that had been previously found. In fact, the find could help create a whole new understanding of the region’s ancient art.
Israel is arguably the birthplace of three of the world’s major religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. These faiths are all known as “Abrahamic,” as they each revere a man called Abraham who is said to have lived thousands of years ago in ancient Israel.
Even so, there are very few historical sources to confirm or deny Abraham’s existence. And most of what we know of ancient Israel comes from the Hebrew Bible. This is another name for the Jewish holy writings known as the Tanakh, which are also the basis of the Christian Old Testament. It should be noted, though, that the Hebrew Bible was written centuries after the alleged events that it recounts.