At the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research from November 16-19, 2016, Prof. Jodi Magness (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and colleagues will present the results of the 2015-2016 excavation seasons at the site of a Late Ancient synagogue building at Huqoq in eastern Lower Galilee in Israel. Prof Magness received a 2016-2017 Shohet Scholars grant for the excavation season that followed the one under discussion at the ASOR event.
The 2016 ASOR Annual Meeting will be held in San Antonio, TX from November 16th to 19th at the La Cantera Resort and Spa. The program schedule is on: http://www.asor.org/am/.
From the ASOR Program: 5C. Archaeology of Israel: The 2011–2016 Excavations at Huqoq
CHAIR: Jodi Magness (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Presiding
Matthew Grey (Brigham Young University), Jodi Magness (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Shua Kisilevitz (Israel Antiquities Authority) and Dennis Mizzi (University of Malta), “The 2015–2016 Seasons of Excavations at Huqoq”
Since 2011, Jodi Magness of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has directed excavations in the ancient village of Huqoq in eastern Lower Galilee, assisted by Shua Kisilevitz of the Israel Antiquities Authority. The excavations have brought to light parts of the Jewish village of the fifth–sixth centuries and the Ottoman period Muslim village of Yakuk. In this paper, we report on the results of the 2015–2016 excavation seasons, which focused on a monumental, Late Roman (fifth century) synagogue paved with extraordinary mosaics. The mosaics include the first depiction of a non-biblical story, and the first scene from daily life ever discovered decorating an ancient synagogue. The synagogue was expanded and reused as a public building in the Middle Ages (12th–13th centuries), when the stylobates and pedestals were lifted a half a meter, and the aisles were paved with mosaics. Column drums from the synagogue that were used in the medieval building to support the lifted stylobates still preserve their original painted decoration. This paper provides an overview of these recent discoveries, which shed new light on Galilean Jews and Judaism against the background of the rise and spread of Christianity.