BAR 38:04, Jul/Aug 2012
Turkey’s Unexcavated Synagogues
Could the world’s earliest known synagogue be buried amid rubble?
BAR specializes in articles about sites that have been excavated, featuring the often dramatic finds archaeologists uncover. But what about finds from sites that have not been excavated (and should be)?
We know a lot about the Jews of Cilicia from the New Testament and other ancient sources. Before becoming a follower of Jesus, Paul was a devout Jew from Tarsus, the capital of the Roman province of Cilicia in southeast Anatolia (modern Turkey). Despite the presence of Jews in Cilicia, however, relatively little is known about their synagogues. Indeed not a single ancient synagogue has been excavated in Cilicia.