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History & Archeology

1, 700-year-old inscriptions linked to ‘rabbis’ unearthed in Galilee

“The wealth of inscriptions from the cemeteries attests to the strong Jewish presence and the city’s social elite in the Late Roman period, ” says archaeologist.

1,  700-year-old inscriptions linked to ‘rabbis’ unearthed in Galilee  Greek inscription. Credit Miki Peleg,   courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

 

Three 1, 700 year old funerary inscriptions written in Aramaic and Greek have been unearthed by in the northern Israeli community of Zippori, Israel’s Antiquities Authority (IAA) said in a statement on Wednesday.

The inscriptions, which were first discovered by residents of the community and uncovered in a oint effort carried out by researchers of the Kinneret Institute for Galilean Archaeology of the Kinneret Academic College and the IAA, mentioned individuals referred to as “rabbis” who had been buried in the western cemetery of Zippori.

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Dr. Motti Aviam of the Kinneret Institute for Galilean Archaeology said that “the importance of the epitaphs lies in the fact that these reflect the everyday life of the Jews of Zippori and their cultural world.”

While it is still unclear what the term “rabbi” inscribed on the epitaph actually means, “it is quite possible that Jews from various parts of Galilee were brought to Zippori to be buried.” Aviam added, noting that one “in the newly discovered inscriptions is that one of the deceased was called “the Tiberian”. This is already the second instance of someone from Tiberias being buried in the cemetery at Zippori.”

 

1,  700-year-old inscriptions linked to ‘rabbis’ unearthed in Galilee

 

According to the IAA statement, seventeen funerary inscriptions have been documented in Zippori, most of them written in Aramaic.

Zippori is a village and an archeological site, which holds a long historical and architectural legacy that includes Hellenistic, Jewish, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, Crusader, Arabic and Ottoman influences, displayed in a network of colonnaded paved streets, markets, residential houses, public buildings, bathhouses, theater, synagogues and churches.

Christians and Jews lived together in Zippori from the fifth century on. In the 7th century, the town was conquered by the Arab caliphates.

 

1,  700-year-old inscriptions linked to ‘rabbis’ unearthed in Galilee (2)

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