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XIV Dating

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Chapter Summary

The dating of the synagogues in the Land of Israel is one of the most deliberated topics among scholars. Excavations and their ensuing data such as inscriptions, pottery, coins, architecture, and art, facilitate the determination of synagogues dating, as do historical considerations. Early buildings that might have been synagogues were usually rebuilt using similar or even the same plans. The construction of synagogues in the Land of Israel was continuous throughout the Roman and Byzantine periods, though it seems to have been most prolific during two main periods: the late third and early fourth centuries CE when most of the Galilean synagogues were erected, and the sixth century when many of the characteristic Byzantine synagogues were built. Consequently, for dating purposes the historical context, excavation levels and stratigraphy, and the artistic style and finds of each synagogue need to be examined separately.

Keywords:Byzantine synagogues; excavation; Galilean synagogues; Israel; synagogues dating



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