May 21, 2024
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Second Temple-Era Synagogue Unearthed Near Black Sea

(JNS) Archaeologists have unearthed a synagogue in Russia dating back to the Second Temple Period. The structure was part of the ancient Greek city of Phanagoria, located near the Black Sea.

Researchers from the Russian Academy of Science have concluded that the synagogue operated from at least the early first century C.E., based on marble tablets inscribed with “house of prayer” and “synagogue.” It is estimated to have stood for 500 years until the sixth century, when the city was sacked by barbarian tribes.

Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska’s Volnoe Delo Foundation is providing financial support for the excavation work, which has been taking place since 2004.

The archaeologists reported that the synagogue’s rectangular dimensions were 21 by 6 meters (69 by 20 feet). It was split into two chambers, each more than 60 square meters (645 square feet) in area.

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