June 22, 1999 / Tammuz 8, 5759

Archaeological digs in the Golan Heights city of Gamla - destroyed by the Romans
two millennia ago - have uncovered two impressive buildings from the Roman Era.
The director of the digs, Dan Tzion, told Arutz-7 that the last of three seasons of
digs has just been completed. "One of the buildings uncovered was apparently a
villa of a wealthy Jew from about 1900 years ago. It has a beautifully sculpted
exterior. Inside, we have almost completely excavated three of the rooms, one of
which still has its stone pillars intact. In one of the rooms, we found small items
attesting to the war, such as arrows."

"Because of the large boulders we found close to the surface, we had hoped that the
larger building would be another synagogue. It turns out that the structure was in
fact a public building - 16 by 16 meters in size - but apparently not a synagogue.
What kind of building it was we do not quite know, since we have never discovered
another building of a similar design. Of particular interest was the finding of items
such as small casks and pots. It is unusual to find these things in public buildings.
This would correspond with the theories of Josephus, who claimed that many Jews
fled from the Galilee to the Golan during the rebellion. Just like today, when
community centers and schools are opened for the public in times of crisis, so too
they opened up synagogues and public buildings for the refugees."

Arutz-7 Educational Radio
For more information about Arutz-7's on-line services, send email to:
Visit our Web Site on the Virtual Jerusalem Server

Return to the YashaNet News Index | Return to the YashaNet Home Page