Roman Temple Uncovered in Zippori

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CBNNews.com - ZIPPORI NATIONAL PARK, Israel - Israeli archaeologists uncovered a second century Roman temple at Zippori National Park in northern Israel.

Hebrew University Institute of Archaeology Professor Zeev Weiss led the excavation, undertaken by the Noam Shudofsky Zippori Expedition.

During Roman times, Zippori served as the Galilee's Jewish capital, making the discovery of a Roman temple in the city center all the more interesting.

"It shows that pagans, who were a minority, prayed in the center of the city and lived in harmony with the Jewish majority," Prof. Weiss said.

Later, a Christian church was erected on the temple's foundations.

The excavation of the temple's foundation, which is all that remains of the Roman structure, revealed a decorative façade.

While archaeologists have yet to discover evidence as to the pagan rituals performed in the temple, they have found coins from the time of Antoninus Pius, minted in Zippori (called Diocaesarea by the Romans), which show the temple was dedicated to Roman gods Zeus and Tyche.

The team also partially excavated a large Roman building opposite the temple, whose size indicates its importance.

A stone pavement in the center of the building, strewn with broken Roman columns, may have collapsed during an earthquake, they said.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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