MANISA, Turkey — A museum in western Turkey will soon exhibit artifacts from the largest known synagogue of the ancient world, uncovered fully after six decades of American-led excavations at what was once the seat of power of the fabulously rich King Croesus. ...For more on the Sardis synagogue, its current restoration, and the ancient Jewish community in Sardis, start here and follow the links
The synagogue, 120 meters long and 18 meters wide, was the center of Jewish religious life at Sardis during the late Roman period. Nearby Jewish cemeteries of more recent ages are the testament of a long Jewish presence in the region. About 50,000 Jews lived in Ottoman western Anatolia in the mid-19th century, including 2,000 in and around Manisa. No Jewish population remains today after migration during the First and Second World Wars and after the creation of Israel.
Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.