As seen at the National Geographic Internet web site:
"Surprising Mosaics Revealed in Ancient Synagogue in Israel"
"Archaeologists puzzle over depictions of dancers, elephants, and a mysterious figure that may be Alexander the Great."
THAT ELEPHANT APPARENTLY A WAR ELEPHANT. AS MENTIONED IN APOCRYPHAL BIBLICAL ACCOUNTS THE AUTHENTICITY OF WHICH IS QUESTIONABLE ACCORDING TO SOME!
The mosaic as found in the synagogue showing what appears to be a war elephant.
"Eleazar Avaran, also known as Eleazar Maccabeus . . . was the fourth son of Mattathias and the younger brother of Judas Maccabeus. He was killed (4 Maccabees 1:7-10) at the Battle of Beth-zechariah (1 Maccabees 6:32-33) during the Maccabean revolt."
This image is purportedly a miniature from a medieval manuscript. Eleazar is shown spearing the elephant in the belly."According to 1 Maccabees 6:43-46, during the Battle of Beit Zechariah, Eleazar identified a war elephant that he believed to carry the Seleucid King Antiochus V, due to the special armor the elephant wore. He decided to endanger his life by attacking the elephant and thrusting a spear into its belly. The dead elephant then collapsed upon Eleazar, killing him as well."
That question has been asked - - the war elephants from the time of Hannibal were Asian or African? The former of course well known to be tame-able, the latter not so. Some have suggested that there existed a sub-species [now extinct] of the African elephant that could be tamed and used as a "main-battle-tank". But this is merely speculation.