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Synagogue Interior

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Synagogue Interior
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Photo Comments

View looking south down the length of the interior of the reconstructed synagogue.

It is a basilica style structure with a nave (center) surrounded on both sides and the back by aisles.  At the far (south) end of the nave is a staircase that leads up to a raised platform.  This is probably the area where the Torah scrolls were kept.

Benches are visible along the east (left) and west (right) walls of the synagogue.  In the center of the floor is a very unusual octagonal pattern made out of black basalt paving stones.

The numbers that are visible on the stones were placed there by the excavators at the beginning of the excavation of the synagogue so that they could be placed close to their original positions during reconstruction.

The process of reconstructing an ancient structure using only artifacts found at the site is called anastylosis.

For a map and brief commentary on Umm el-Qanatir click here.