Edwin Goodenough, Symbolism in the Dura Synagogue, 1964/Princeton University Press

Painted in tempera on dry plaster smeared over mud-brick walls, the scenes surrounding the Torah niche in the center of the synagogue’s western wall present the triumph of the Israelites over their enemies through divine intervention. They include the anointing of David and the infancy of Moses (lower right tier); the Jerusalem Temple and the journey of the Ark of the Covenant among the Philistines, with their destroyed Temple (center right); the Exodus, with the drowning of Pharaoh’s army (upper right); Elijah restoring the widow’s son and the triumph of Mordechai and Esther (lower left); and the 12 tribes of Israel and the Consecration of the Tabernacle (center left). (The paintings are now in the National Museum of Syria, in Damascus.)

Benches, seating about 124 people, lined the walls of the synagogue. Five steps, just right of the Torah niche, created a raised seat for the synagogue leader.