Daily Israel Report

Archaeologists Uncover Temple-Era Jewish Village

Archaeologists find remains of Jewish town in the Galilee. Town dates back to times of Second Temple.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 8/4/2013, 11:43 AM

Shard found in Sichin
Shard found in Sichin
Courtesy of Sichin archaeological team

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of the ancient Jewish village of Sichin in the Galilee. The village was found near the northern edge of the Tzipori national park.

The discovery was made by a team led by Dr. Mordechai Aviam of the Galilee Archaeological Institute at the Kinneret academic college.

The village of Sichin was mentioned by the ancient scholar Josephus (Yosef Ben-Matityahu) as one of the first Jewish towns established in the Galilee in the times of the Second Temple.

The village was later mentioned in the Talmud (Gemara) as one of the Jewish villages near Tzipori.

Archaeologists found evidence of a synagogue at the site, as well as many pottery fragments and other items confirming historians’ reports of pottery production in the village.

“Those of us at the dig were very surprised to find seven stone molds for the creation of pottery holders for wax candles,” said Dr. Aviam. “One of the fragments was decorated with a menorah and palm [lulav] fronds.”

The dig will continue, he said, with an emphasis on uncovering more of the synagogue, pottery workshops and homes.