Jim Haberman

SYNAGOGUE SUCCESS. Although carved architectural fragments scattered around Huqoq pointed to the presence of a monumental building (i.e., a synagogue) at the site, the excavation team did not know where it was located. No remains of the synagogue wall were found in a sounding on the west side of a large stone collapse, but a square on the east side of the mound proved more fruitful. Digging soon revealed large ashlar blocks forming a 21-inch-wide wall running north-south—the eastern wall of the synagogue. Excavation director Jodi Magness stands on one of the ashlars in the synagogue wall at the end of the 2011 season; part of the threshold can be seen below her to the left, running into the balk. (The blocks running parallel to and behind the synagogue wall, which consist of only one course sitting on fill, belong to a later Mamluk wall, which reused stones from the synagogue wall.)