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Cclesiastical Furnishings In Synagogues

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the archaeological evidence for ecclesiastical furnishings, such as chancel screens and platforms, unearthed in synagogues from the late fourth to the seventh century. Jewish written sources offer a starting point for testimony concerning the interior layout of synagogues. By examining the evidence for platforms, the authors make distinctions between when and where these platforms existed. In some fifth-and sixth-century synagogues, the chapter includes a small stepped platform. A rectangular platform that may have served a purpose other than that of elevating the container for the Scrolls can be found in several ancient synagogues in Palestine. The ambo was a common but not absolutely necessary piece of church furniture in the fifth and sixth centuries. In the church, the chancel separated the sanctuary and the altar from the nave, thus defining the boundary of 'sacred space'.

Keywords: archaeological evidence; ecclesiastical furnishings; Palestine; stepped platform; synagogues



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