Gabi Laron/Institute of Archaeology,Hebrew University

A hovering Dionysus seems to survey Beth-Shean from the top of this richly decorated Corinthian capital. According to long-standing local legend, the Greek god founded the city in honor of his nurse, who was said to have been buried here.

The excavators found this capital in the propylaeum, or gateway building, that connected the bathhouse with the colonnaded street. Though toppled by an eighth-century A.D. earthquake, enough of the propylaeum—columns, capitals, a finely carved floral frieze (see photograph), a cornice and parts of a gable—survived to enable the excavators to render a drawing of the 40-foot-high structure (see drawing).