Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A medieval synagogue at Huqoq?

ARCHAEOLOGY: Ruins discovered near Sea of Galilee could be rare medieval synagogue (Cheyenne Macdonald, Daily Mail).
• Building was discovered at Huqoq excavation site near Israel’s Sea of Galilee
• Placement of benches along east, north, west walls suggest it was synagogue
• But, researchers say there is little evidence of Jewish presence there at the time

Archaeologists have unearthed what could be the ancient remains of a synagogue in a village near Israel’s Sea of Galilee.

It was built during the 12th and 13th centuries, and incorporates parts of a fifth-century Roman synagogue known to contain stunning mosaics.

The placement of benches along the east, north, and west walls suggests that the ancient structure is a synagogue – but researchers say such a find is extremely rare in this setting, given the lack of a Jewish presence in the area at the time.

The Middle Ages are usually outside PaleoJudaica's realm of interest, but I note this story because the medieval ruins, whatever they are, are closely associated with the ruins of the late antique synagogue at Huqoq. For much more on the many ancient ruins etc. at Huqoq, start here and follow the links.