Ancient Synagogues - Archaeology and Art: New Discoveries and Current Research


Ancient Synagogues - Archaeology and Art. New Discoveries and Current Research presents archaeological evidence - the architecture, art, Jewish symbols, zodiac, biblical tales, inscriptions, and coins – which attest to the importance of the synagogue. When considered as a whole, all these pieces of evidence confirm the centrality of the synagogue institution in the life of the Jewish communities all through Israel and in the Diaspora. Most importantly, the synagogue and its art and architecture played a powerful role in the preservation of the fundamental beliefs, customs, and traditions of the Jewish people following the destruction of the Second Temple and the loss of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel. The book also includes a supplement of the report on the Qazion excavation.

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Rachel Hachlili, Ph.D in Archaeology, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, is Professor of Archaeology, University of Haifa, Israel. She has published an extensive amount of books and articles including those focusing on ancient Jewish art and archaeology in the Land of Israel (Brill, 1988); ancient Jewish art and archaeology in the Diaspora (Brill, 1998); on the excavations of the Jewish cemetery at Jericho (with A. E. Killebrew, IAA reports 1999); on the Menorah (Brill, 2001); on Jewish burial practices in the Second Temple period (Brill, 2005); and on ancient mosaic pavements (Brill 2009).
"...splendidly presented volume [...] meticulous attention to detail, methodical and comprehensive presentation of evidence, and a thorough engagement with contemporary academic debate." – Jane Heath, University of Durham, in: The Expository Times 126/11
"Hachlili’s volume does offer a comprehensive view of the state of current research in the art and archaeology of synagogues in ancient Palestine and will be a welcome addition to the reference sections of institutional libraries." – Carrie Elaine Duncan, University of Missouri, in: Review of Biblical Literature 06/2016
Chapter 1 The Synagogue
Chapter 2 Second Temple Period Synagogues
Chapter 3 Recently Excavated and Newly Published Synagogues
Chapter 4 Synogogue Architecture and Ornamentation
Chapter 5 Synagogue Art, Significance and Impact
Chapter 6 Jewish Symbols
Chapter 7 The Jewish Calendar Represented in the Zodiac Design
Chapter 8 Illustrated Biblical Tales
Chapter 9 Motifs of Jewish Synagogal Art
Chapter 10 Artists, Workshops and Repertoire
Chapter 11 Inscriptions
Chapter 12 Coins and the Synagogue
Chapter 13 Women
Chapter 14 Dating
Chapter 15 Conclusions
Supplment Qazion
List of Synagogue Excavations
All those interested in the art and significance of ancient synagogues in Late Antiquity and ancient Jewish art and architecture.