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Photo Comments

 picture of the "Platform" (Bema) on which the "ark" in which the Torah scrolls were kept was placed.  The platform was apparently reached by wooden steps that lead up from the prayer hall (not visible to the left).

The synagogue dates to the 4th-5th centuries and this is one of the earliest synagogues in which the "ark" had a permanent place outside the central hall.  One of the rooms next to the bema may have been the geniza—the place where no-longer-used Torah scrolls were ritually deposited.

Just to the left of the bema, note the partially exposed mosaic of an earlier synagogue.