Archeologists have unearthed the remnants of an early Jewish community in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
The team of Moroccan, Israeli and French archeologists discovered the ruins of a synagogue as they were excavating in the area of a small town in the region of the Atlas Mountains that borders the Sahara Desert, Morocco World News reported.
While excavating the synagogue, the team discovered long buried ritual items, Jewish scriptures, amulets (that served to protect their wearers from bad luck), and other objects.
Some of the items were badly worn due to natural erosion while others had been damaged from looting over the years.
The remains of the synagogue was unearthed by the researchers after field research led them to the location. They also interviewed locals in the area who spoke to them about their memories of the Jews who had lived in their communities.
The residents told them that the Jews who had lived in the region had left the Atlas Mountains around seven decades ago.
The village is located just outside the city of Ifrane, and is in an area that once had the oldest Jewish community in Morocco and some of the oldest communities in all of North Africa.
The scriptures were transported to research facilities in Morocco to be put back together using an automated process that makes use of artificial intelligence.
The team has been given a sponsorship from Morocco’s royal family to conduct further research into the lives of the Jewish community that once lived in the village, following up on the evidence they have uncovered and interviewing Jews who have ties to the community that lived in the village before migrating 70 years ago.
They have also decided to expand their research to focus on a second nearby village and then to increase the scope of their excavations to the entire region.
The idea is to find as much evidence as they can about the history and culture of the Jewish community that once lived in the Atlas Mountain region near the Sahara.