Beit Alfa Synagogue

Beit Alfa Synagogue
Beit Alpha.jpg
Synagogue mosaic.
Beit Alfa Synagogue is located in Israel
Shown within Israel
Location Israel Heftziba
Coordinates 32°31′08″N 35°25′37″E / 32.518985°N 35.426968°E / 32.518985; 35.426968
History
Founded 6th century CE
Site notes
Public access Museum
The main mosaic of the ancient synagogue floor

The Beit Alfa Synagogue is an ancient Byzantine-era synagogue located in Heftziba, at the foot of Mount Gilboa in northern Israel. It was constructed in the 6th century CE and is famous for its mosaic floor which was uncovered in 1928.

Dimensions

A courtyard, separated by an entranceway, led into a central nave, measuring 5.4 metres wide. The building also contained a second-floor balcony and an additional room.[1] The synagogue is aligned south-west, facing Jerusalem.[2]

A hoard of 36 Byzantine coins were found in a shallow depression in the floor apse.[3]

Mosaic

The mosaic was discovered in 1928 by Jewish farmers digging an irrigation ditch below Mount Gilboa in the Valley of Jezreel.[4] Professor Elazar Sukenik from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem was called to supervise the subsequent excavations of the synagogue in 1929.[5]

Two inscriptions were found on the entryway floor. The Greek inscription is in memory of the artists who made the mosaic, Marianus and his son Hanina.[6] The Aramaic inscription reads:

This mosaic was laid in the year of the reign of Justinian the emperor for the sum of one hundred measures of wheat donated by the people of the village.[5]

The central nave floor is divided into three panels: a depiction of the Binding of Isaac; a representation of the sun pulled by a star chariot surrounded by the constellations and signs of the zodiac; and a tableau representing the Temple of Jerusalem and religious objects associated with Judaism.[7]

The zodiac has the names of the twelve signs in Hebrew. In the center is Helios, the sun god, being whisked away in his chariot by four galloping horses. The four women in the corners of the mosaic represent the four seasons.[1]

References

Coordinates: 32°31′08″N 35°25′37″E / 32.518985°N 35.426968°E / 32.518985; 35.426968


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Synagogue de Beït-Alfa — Synagogue de Beth Alpha 32° 31′ 09″ N 35° 25′ 36″ E / 32.519122, 35.426803 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Beit Alfa — Infobox Kibbutz name= Beit Alfa caption= imgsize=250 caption3= imgsize3= hebname=Hebrew|בֵּית אַלְפָא arname= foundation = 4 November 1922 founded by = Hashomer Hatzair district = Gilboa Regional Council council = Menashe industry = Agriculture… …   Wikipedia

  • Beit-Alfa — Beït Alfa Pour les articles homonymes, voir Beït et Alfa (homonymie). Beït Alfa est un kibboutz de la vallée de Jezreel, situé à l emplacement d un ancien village juif du même nom, du VIe siècle avant l ère chrétienne. Sommaire …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Beit Alfa — Beït Alfa Pour les articles homonymes, voir Beït et Alfa (homonymie). Beït Alfa est un kibboutz de la vallée de Jezreel, situé à l emplacement d un ancien village juif du même nom, du VIe siècle avant l ère chrétienne. Sommaire …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Beït-Alfa — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Beït et Alfa (homonymie). Beït Alfa est un kibboutz de la vallée de Jezreel, situé à l emplacement d un ancien village juif du même nom, du VIe siècle avant l ère chrétienne. Sommaire 1 Création du kibboutz …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Beit She'an — Hebrew transcription(s)  – Hebrew בֵּית שְׁאָן  – ISO 259 Beit Šˀan  – Translit …   Wikipedia

  • Synagogue de Beth Alpha — 32° 31′ 09″ N 35° 25′ 36″ E / 32.519122, 35.426803 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Synagogue — Vitrail de la synagogue Sixth and I, Washington D.C. Une synagogue (du grec Συναγωγή / Sunagôgê, « assemblée » adapté de l hébreu …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Beit — Beth Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Beth peut faire réfrence à : beth, une lettre de l alphabet hébreu, Bēth, la 2e lettre de l alphabet syriaque, Beth (nombre) Beth, Bet ou Beït… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • SYNAGOGUE — This article is arranged according to the following outline. origins and history until the first century first century c.e. middle ages modern period …   Encyclopedia of Judaism


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