Latin proverbs are always good for the difficult Q Day of ABC Wednesday.
Quieta non movere means "Don't rock the boat" or "Let sleeping dogs lie."
But in the context of these photos from Susita, the proverb's literal translation is best:
"DON'T MOVE SETTLED THINGS."
The architectural elements toppled by the great earthquake of 749 are left in situ as a silent testimony to the devastation that put an end to the city of Susita / Hippos.
Some of the columns are of smooth granite imported from Egypt.
Granite was common in the construction of pagan temples
As we have seen in my two previous posts, Susita was at first one of the pagan cities of the Decapolis.
It is probably this city on the hill that Jesus sailed across the Sea of Galilee to.
The news of his driving the demons out of a man spread fast.
The next re-use of the temple columns was for Christian churches, 3 or 4 of which are excavated.
The flat foundation in the photo above has holes for posts of the Byzantine church's chancel screen.
Still half-buried quiet things. . .
Here the archaeologists just couldn't resist just a little reconstructing, it seems!
The pillar with remnants of unusual plaster decoration and the elaborate Corinthian capital begged to be set upright again after all these years.
Initial excavations were done in the early 1950s. But then Susita was right on the border with Syria and it must have been quite dangerous.
Digging was resumed in 1999.
Since then, teams from the universities of Haifa and of Warsaw have come every summer.
UPDATE Sept. 2014: See http://blog.bibleplaces.com/2014/09/new-evidence-for-ad-363-earthquake-at.html
UPDATE Dec. 4, 2015: Don't miss this great BAR article on Sussita, with aerial photos!