Cover image for Excavations at Ancient Nabratein: Synagogue and Environs By Eric M. Meyers and Carol L. Meyers

Excavations at Ancient Nabratein: Synagogue and Environs

Eric M. Meyers and Carol L. Meyers

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ISBN: 978-1-57506-162-7

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Meiron Excavation Project Reports

Excavations at Ancient Nabratein: Synagogue and Environs

Eric M. Meyers and Carol L. Meyers

The site of Nabratein is situated on a remote promontory in an extensive pine forest northeast of Safed. This report is the sixth and final volume of the Meiron Excavation Project. The discovery in 1981 of the pediment of a Holy Ark from the Nabratein synagogue coincided with the release of the film Raiders of the Lost Ark. That coincidence brought much unanticipated press coverage to the expedition and its senior staff, even though we insisted that the discovery of perhaps the earliest synagogue ark was not to be identified with the recovery of the biblical Ark of the Covenant. Although the media attention was totally unexpected, we all did our best to respond to the occasion with honesty and a bit of whimsy. Such coverage of the Nabratein excavation resulted in making many more people interested in archaeology, even if it didn’t solve a biblical mystery. Now we hope that this full publication of the results of our work at the site will afford it a lasting place in the annals of the archaeology of Israel.”—from the Preface

 

  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • Errata
The site of Nabratein is situated on a remote promontory in an extensive pine forest northeast of Safed. This report is the sixth and final volume of the Meiron Excavation Project. The discovery in 1981 of the pediment of a Holy Ark from the Nabratein synagogue coincided with the release of the film Raiders of the Lost Ark. That coincidence brought much unanticipated press coverage to the expedition and its senior staff, even though we insisted that the discovery of perhaps the earliest synagogue ark was not to be identified with the recovery of the biblical Ark of the Covenant. Although the media attention was totally unexpected, we all did our best to respond to the occasion with honesty and a bit of whimsy. Such coverage of the Nabratein excavation resulted in making many more people interested in archaeology, even if it didn’t solve a biblical mystery. Now we hope that this full publication of the results of our work at the site will afford it a lasting place in the annals of the archaeology of Israel.”—from the Preface

Preface

List of Abbreviations

List of Illustrations (Figures, Plates, Tables, Charts, Photographs)

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1. Introduction

1. Site Situation and Name

2. Nabratein in the Ancient Literary Sources: Rabbinic Texts, by Steven Fine

3. Previous Archaeological Investigations

4. Key to the Excavations

5. Chronology

CHAPTER 2. The Synagogue Building (Field I)

1. Stratigraphic Discussion

2. Architectural Discussion

3. Architectural Fragments, by John Younger

4. Note on the Lintel Inscription

CHAPTER 3. Areas Adjacent to the Synagogue (Fields II, III, and IV.3)

1. Fields II and IV.3 (West of the Synagogue)

2. Field III (South-Southeast of the Synagogue)

CHAPTER 4. Area at The Western Edge of the Site (Field IV)

1. Introduction

2. Stratigraphy

3. Interpretation

CHAPTER 5. Material Culture: Pottery (except lamps)

1. Introduction

2. Pottery from Fields I and II: The Synagogues

3. Pottery from Fields II.1 and IV.3: The Courtyard Complex

4. Pottery from Field III: Areas to the South and to the Southwest of the Portico

5. Pottery from Field IV: Area to the West of the Paved Courtyard

6. Decorated Fine Wares

7. Note on Black Ware with Depiction of Torah Shrine

CHAPTER 6. Material Culture: Lamps, by Eric C. Lapp

1. Discussion

2. Catalogue

CHAPTER 7. Material Culture: Stone

1. Ground Stone Artifacts, by Jennie R. Ebeling

2. Chalkstone Vessels, by Jonathan Reed

CHAPTER 8. Material Culture: Glass, by Alysia Fischer

1. Introduction

2. Discussion by Periods, with Catalogue

3. Summary

CHAPTER 9. Material Culture: Other Artifacts

1. Metal Items

2. Textile Implements, by Miriam Peskowitz

3. Miscellaneous Small Finds

CHAPTER 10. Numismatic Report, by Gabriela Bijovsky

1. Discussion

2. Coin Profile

3. Catalogue

CHAPTER 11. Conclusions

APPENDICES

A. Complete Locus List

B. Critical Locus List

BIBLIOGRAPHY

A PDF of errata and corrigenda is available here for download.

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