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Stratum II Synagogue At Hammath Tiberias: Reconsidering Its Access, Internal Space, And Architecture

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Chapter Summary

Throughout the Roman and Early Byzantine periods, Tiberias played a significant role in the Jewish settlement of the Galilee as well as a center of learning and leadership for the Jews of ancient Palestine and the Diaspora. Two stages of the synagogueone on top of the otherwere uncovered by Moshe Dothan, each exhibiting a different plan and a number of internal changes. The earlier synagogue (Stratum II) is a broadhouse structure, and the later one (Stratum I), built on top of the former, is an elongated basilica with a southern external apse facing Jerusalem, the direction of prayer. The excavation finds from Hammath Tiberias enhance our knowledge of matters beyond architecture, art, and Jewish epigraphy. This chapter discusses the earlier synagogue, Stratum II according to Dothan's terminology, and raises a number of questions regarding his proposed reconstruction.

Keywords: Galilee; Hammath Tiberias; Jewish epigraphy; Stratum II Synagogue



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