Biblical Archaeology Review 39:1, January/February 2013

Samson in the Synagogue

By Jodi Magness

At 6:00 A.M. on Wednesday, June 20, 2012, Bryan Bozung made an exciting discovery. A recent graduate of Brigham Young University, he has now begun studying for a Masters in Theological Studies at Yale University. But this morning he was digging at Huqoq, an ancient village in Israel’s Lower Eastern Galilee. This was his first archaeological excavation. As he dug through the loose dirt, his hoe scraped something hard. He excitedly called to me. Gently brushing away the dirt, we saw a beautiful female face peering back at us. Soon we were joined by Shua Kisilevitz, an archaeologist with the Israel Antiquities Authority, who is my assistant codirector.1 Within minutes we were joined by other staff members and students who came running as word spread that we had uncovered a mosaic pavement.

In ancient times, Huqoq was a prosperous village of about 7 acres, next to a fresh water spring. It lies about 3 miles west of Magdala (home of Mary Magdalene) and Capernaum (where Jesus taught in the synagogue).

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