Saturday, June 06, 2009

Mosaic Museum Opens at Good Samaritan Inn

The Jerusalem Post reports on a new museum that has opened at the traditional Inn of the Good Samaritan.

The Museum of the Good Samaritan, which is located on the Jerusalem-Jericho Road near Ma'aleh Adumim, was officially opened Thursday evening after a nine-year archeological excavation at the site.

The official dedication of the NIS 10 million museum, which displays mosaics from the West Bank and Gaza, coincided with US President Barack Obama's long-touted Middle East speech in Cairo in which he reached out to the Muslim world....

The site, known as the Inn of the Good Samaritan, received its name in the Byzantine period when it was identified with the inn mentioned in the Parable of the Good Samaritan in the New Testament.

The site lies on the upper end of the ascent on the main road from Jericho to Jerusalem, which pilgrims followed when traveling from the Galilee and Transjordan to the Holy City.

Over the last decade, archeologists have uncovered remains dating back to the Second Temple period at the site.

During the Byzantine period, the site was revived as a way station for Christian pilgrims, and an inn was constructed that included a large church, a cistern, residential quarters, and a fortress to protect pilgrims from brigands.

In the Crusader period, with the expansion of pilgrimage to Jericho and especially to baptismal sites on the Jordan River, the inn was renovated and a fortress erected above it to guard the road to Jerusalem.

The structure housing the museum was built in the Ottoman period as a guard post, which remained in use until recently.

The mosaics on display at the museum were discovered in the West Bank and Gaza and belong to Jewish and Samaritan synagogues - including a mosaic from a Gaza synagogue - as well as churches.

The full story is here.

Good Samaritan inn, tb113006626dxo Traditional Inn of the Good Samaritan with Jerusalem in the distance

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4 Comments:

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Peter's Papyrus, at Sun Jun 07, 12:08:00 PM  

  • thanks for the info; any idea of the hours it's open, or any phone number to call for info?

    By Blogger Donna, at Tue Jun 09, 02:41:00 AM  

  • Donna - it's open every day except Saturday. The article doesn't give hours or a phone number, but I think you'd be safe to arrive between 9 and 5.

    By Blogger Todd Bolen, at Tue Jun 09, 01:02:00 PM  

  • I really don't think that such beautiful findings Dr. Yitchaq Magen found in Samaritan and Jewish ancient sites finding their right place for display. It is understood in regard to findings from Christian sites in the Land of Israel but totally unexpected in regard to Samaritan and Jewish finding to be displayed in such a "Christian" site.

    This is one of the many absurds of putting findings in a wrong place. First it is based on the Good Samaritan parable where Jews considered there as indifferent to the suffering of man in need and second, displaying the Israelite Samaritan issue in a Christian regard when it is obvious that their tradition is much earlier to Christianity and some scholars said it is even earlier to the Jewish one.

    I believe that such Samaritan findings taken from ancient Samaritan synagogues and from the excavation on Mount Gerizim should be displayed in the right place - A museum on Mount Gerizim. The Government of Israel has invested millions of dollars since 1984 in developing a huge archaeological site on the top of Mount Gerizim. An additional million dollars in developing the Samaritan Community Museum in the International Peace Center on Mount Gerizim, protected and secured. will not a big deal for the Antiquity Authority Section of the Ministry of Culture to accept the challenge.

    I really think it is time to do something in this regard. first to apply to the Authority of Antiquities to make such an initiative and if they will refuse following Magen's demands, we will take further steps to protect our rights as Israelite Samaritans.

    It is such a wrong place to display Samaritan and Jewish findings.

    Fondly,

    Benyamim Tsedaka
    Head of A.B. - Institute of Samaritan Studies, Holon, Israel

    By Anonymous Benyamim Tsedaka, at Sat Jun 13, 11:34:00 PM  

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