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Archaeological Aspects Of Samaritan Research In Israel

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Chapter Summary

The Samaritans, a monotheistic sect that separated from Judaism, expanded from their heartland of Samaria to other parts of Eretz Israel. Their presence has been identified through oil lamps, sarcophagi and synagogues, and this material evidence together with literary sources and new excavations in Samaria and elsewhere has encouraged scholars to develop a better understanding of Samaritan archaeology in Late Antiquity. This chapter sheds new light on Samaritan sarcophagi and epigraphy, the layout and functions of Samaritan synagogues, and on Samaritan settlement patterns. Nevertheless, the precise identification of Samaritan material culture remains controversial and the definition of a Samaritan settlement should ideally be based on the combined evidence of historical sources and archaeological material culture. Among the new discoveries in the study of the Samaritans in Israel, one must include the uncovering of the city and the large sacred precinct on Mount Gerizim.

Keywords: Israel; Mount Gerizim; Samaritan settlements; Samaritan synagogues



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