Pairs of sandals next to openings are depicted on a number of mosaic floors that were exposed in Provincia Arabia and in Palestina. The mosaic floors were found in secular contexts in private homes and in ecclesiastical contexts in churches. On some of the floors the pair of sandals is depicted next to the personification of Tyche.
The portrayal of sandals occurred rather frequently in different places in antiquity; their existence is explained according to the context in which they were found. In order to understand the significance of the sandals in the secular and religious contexts in the Byzantine period it is necessary to trace their appearance in the Roman world in private houses, bathhouses and temples. In bathhouses they were perceived as a blessing for a good bath; in a religious context they were mainly found in temples associated with health and they symbolized the prayer or blessing for health.
The motif was passed on to Christianity and was found to be a fitting decoration for private houses, churches and chapels, but was rendered a further significance that befitted the substance and tenets of Christian belief. The blessing from antiquity was further enhanced when the sandals were chosen to adorn burial chapels and chapels adjacent to the mother churches. Here, in addition to constituting a blessing for the Christian believer, the pair of sandals is a sign indicating the departure of the deceased from this world and his passage over to the next world, and the concept of resurrection stands behind the mosaic. Subsequently in the Middle Ages the sandals were thought to be the imprints of the feet of Mary and Jesus.