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Synagogue Main Hall

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Synagogue Main Hall
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Photo Comments

A picture of the Talmudic/Byzantine Synagogue of Hammat Tiberias looking south through the Main Hall.  At the far end, where the black basalt construction appears is where there was a platform on which stood a wooden box ("ark") in which the synagogue scrolls were stored.

The main mosaic on the floor is divided into three parts.  At the bottom, below the modern wooden railing is a Greek inscription.  Above it is a zodiac with the sun god Helios in the center.  At the four corners are female figures representing the four seasons of the year.  Above that, before the Torah platform is a Torah ark and two menorahs.  Detailed pictures of all of these are available.

This synagogue dates to the 4th-5th centuries.  This main room is basically square (50 x 42 feet) divided into four by three rows of columns—three in each row.