Archaeologists Discover 2,000-Year-Old Synagogue in the Galilee Region
Israeli archaeologists say they have found a 2,000-year-old synagogue in the Galilee region.
According to CBN News, archeologists found the synagogue in the town of Migdal, which is on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. The town had a large Jewish community during the Second Temple Period and is the birthplace of Mary Magdalene.
It’s also believed to be the area where Jesus spent much of his time.
“We can imagine Mary Magdalene and her family coming to the synagogue here, along with other residents of Migdal, to participate in religious and communal events,” said Dina Avshalom-Gorni, a director with the excavation. “The exposure of a second synagogue casts new light on Jewish communal life in the Galilee, the area where, according to the New Testament, Jesus performed his miracles.”
Avshalom-Gorni said the synagogue was likely a “dedicated building for Torah reading and study and for social gatherings.”
This is the second synagogue to be found in Migdal, making it the only location in the world where two Second Temple Period synagogues have been discovered in the same area.
The first synagogue was found in eastern Migdal in 2009. It had a stone bearing an image of a menorah.
“The fact that we have found two synagogues shows that the Jews of the Second Temple period were looking for a place for religious, and perhaps also social, gatherings,” Prof. Adi Erlich, head of the Zinman Institute of archaeology at the University of Haifa, said. “The stone bearing a relief of the Menorah from the other synagogue at Migdal, suggests that local Jews saw Jerusalem as their religious center, and their local activities took place under this centrality.”
Erlich added that the first synagogue found was located in an industrial area, and the newest finding was near a residential street, “thus, the local synagogues were constructed within the social fabric of the settlement.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/NERYX
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.