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Synagogue Inscription

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Synagogue Inscription
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Photo Comments

This 9 ft. tall marble block was found during the construction of the Aphrodisias Museum.  It is engraved on two sides—both visible in the photo.  It is a list of over 120 donors to a synagogue and is composed of three categories of names—all males: Jews, recent converts to Judaism (proselytes), and unconverted members of the synagogue community ("godfearers;" theosebeis).  It evidently dates to ca. AD 350–500) and probably served as a doorpost in a synagogue.

Chaniotis argues that it actually is two inscriptions.  Because the outside face (to right) is neatly carved, he believes that it was professionally carved on the ground before it was erected.  The side face (to the left), which is more crudely carved, was inscribed by a professional after it had been erected.

Chaniotis, Angelos. “Godfearers in the City of Love.” Biblical Archaeology Review 36, no. 3 (May/June 2010): 32–44, 77.