An Important Fishing Center
Marketplace and Synagogue
Ornamented Table in the Synagogue
A unique feature of this synagogue was a decorated stone inscribed with a seven-branched menorah. According to the excavation director, Dina Avshalom-Gorni, “This is the first time that a menorah decoration has been discovered from the days when the Second Temple was still standing. This is the first menorah to be discovered in a Jewish context and that dates to the Second Temple period/beginning of the Early Roman period.” This depiction of a menorah lends evidence to the belief that, even in the Second Temple period, there was some symbolic connection between synagogues and the temple.
Magdala's Ancient Port
Josephus wrote that the town had many boats, shipyard workers, and wood supplies. He reported that he brought 230 boats from Migdal to Tiberias. The Franciscan excavators, however, used the harbor as a dump, not realizing its significance. The harbor is composed of two parts: the promenade and the sheltered basin. A mooring stone has been found at the western end of the harbor. The breakwater is 20 feet (6 m) wide and 230 feet (69 m) long, and the foundations are made of basalt and limestone boulders. The basin covers one acre and has a quay.
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