Religious Studies Professor Helps Make Ancient Discovery

Increase font size
Decrease font size
Religious Studies Professor Helps Make Ancient Discovery

Jodi Magness, UNC Kenan Distinguished Professor of religious studies, was recently featured on CBS17 news. During the newscast, Professor Magness discussed her ongoing excavation at Huqoq, an ancient synagogue in Galilee. CBS17’s Russ Bowen reports…

GALILEE, Israel (WNCN) — Buried in the earth for centuries and revealed slowly and methodically are the remains of a synagogue at Huqoq — an ancient Jewish village in Israel’s lower Galilee.

“I feel both lucky and very privileged because you know, my team and I are looking at mosaics and other things actually that have not been known of or visible to anybody, for hundreds and hundreds of years,” said Jodi Magness, UNC Kenan Distinguished Professor of religious studies.

“I started excavations there with the hopes of clarifying the nature of the fate of Jewish settlement in this part of Galilee against the background of the rise and spread of Christianity,” she added.

Magness said the journey also began with the hopes of excavating a kind of a synagogue building called the Galilean Type Synagogue.

That, she said, is “basically a very large basilica, kind of a rectangular building with columns inside to support the ceiling. That is best represented by the synagogue at Capernaum, which is just a couple of miles away from us.”

Magness and her team have discovered a well-preserved mosaic panel that decorates the floor just inside the main entrance. Included are what’s believed to be the names of artists or donors.

“It is actually not unusual to have donor inscriptions at the entrance to ancient synagogues when you have mosaic floors. So, I like to say that some things in Judaism haven’t changed in the last 1,600 years, because if you go into a synagogue today and I’m sure churches as well, for example, the first thing that you see is the list of the donors,” Magness said.

But that’s only part of what they’ve unveiled…

To read more of CBS17’s story and to see a clip from the newscast, CLICK HERE!

Posted in News & Events on July 14, 2023. Bookmark the permalink.