1,800 year old Hebrew inscriptions exposed on a column capital in Western Galilee
An 1,800 year old limestone capital dating to the Roman period that is engraved with two Hebrew inscriptions was discovered during the course of restoration and conservation work being carried out in the ancient synagogue and neighboring Beit Zinati visitor center at Peqiʽin, in the Western Galilee. The work is being conducted by the Council for Conservation of Heritage Sites in Israel as part of a heritage project by the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage.
|The 1,800 year old stone column capital [Credit: Ritvo/Beit Zinati]|
According to Yoav Lerer, the IAA inspector in the Western Galilee, “The Talmudic and Midrashic sources tell of the Galilean sages that lived in Peqiʽin, including Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, who hid from the Romans in a cave. However, there are those who disagree with the identification of the location of Peqiʽin. I believe that these inscriptions will add an important tier to our knowledge about the Jewish settlement in the village of Peqiʽin during the Roman and Byzantine periods”.
|Margalit Zinati of Peqiʽin village, and the ancient stone [Credit: Ritvo/Beit Zinati]|
Ze’ev Elkin, the Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage, said: "Peqiʽin is one of the most significant sites in the Galilee, and is a place where there has always been a Jewish presence. It is a great honor for me that during my tenure in office such an important discovery has been made that tells this 2,000 year old story of the Land of Israel”.
|The entrance to the ancient synagogue at Peqiʽin [Credit: Ritvo/Beit Zinati]|
Source: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs [February 21, 2017]