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Entrance Inscriptions

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Entrance Inscriptions
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A view of the inscriptions on the mosaic floor at the entrance to the sixth century A.D synagogue at Bet Alpha.

The upper inscription is in Greek and reads: "May the craftsmen who carried out this work, Marianos and his son Hanina, be held in remembrance."  This father and son team also is mentioned in an inscription on the synagogue floor found at Beth Shean—they seem to have worked throughout the district.

The lower, broken Aramaic inscription indicates that the floor was laid during the reign of the Emperor Justin—probably Justinian I (r.  A.D. 518–527) because Justinian II (r. 527–565) was anti-Jewish.  The synagogue building is probably older, as there is another floor beneath this floor.  The inscription also states that the members of the congregation paid for the floor, donating wheat, etc.

Information from Nahman Avigad,  "Beth Alpha." Pages 190-92 in The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land — vol. 1. Edited by Ephraim Stern, Ayellet Lewinson–Gilboa, and Joseph Aviram. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society and Carta, 1993.

The synagogue floor dates to the sixth century A.D. and was destroyed by an earthquake. It was discovered in 1929 and excavated by E. L. Sukenik of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  Today it is located on the grounds of Kibbutz Hetzi–Ba.