Thursday, July 08, 2010

Synagogue Discovered at Horvat Kur

The Kinneret Regional Project is excavating Tel Chinnereth (Kinneret) and studying its environs on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee.  This season they have focused their attention on Horvat Kur, and their efforts have been rewarded with the discovery of a synagogue dated to the 4th century.

Taken all the available evidence together, it seems very likely, that KRP 2010 has discovered a part of the western wall of yet another ancient Galilean synagogue. Together with the well-known synagogues at Capernaum and Chorazin (both ca. 5th / 6th c. CE) and the recently discovered ones at Khirbet Hammam (2nd / 3rd c. CE) and Magdala (1st c. CE), the new synagogue at Horvat Kur (tentatively dated to the 4th / 5th c. CE) adds new evidence for a very tight net of synagogues in a relatively small area on the Northwestern shores of the Lake of Galilee.

You can read the full report here (and a copy here).  Nothing in the article was very clear about its location, so I did a little work to locate the site and create a map using Google Earth.  As you can see, the site is in close proximity to some important New Testament locations.  The distance from the site to the water’s edge is about one mile. 

It will be interesting to see if they discover anything from the 1st century.  The report states that the site was inhabited from the Early Roman to the Early Medieval period, and Early Roman usually designates the period before Jerusalem’s destruction in AD 70.

sea_galilee_northwest

Map of northwest shoreline of Sea of Galilee

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