Sanhedrin sarcophagi were found in Yavne;
Are these the tombs of the sages of Yavneh?
In the remains of a building dating to the days of the Sanhedrin (2-1 centuries AD), an impressive cemetery with stone sarcophagi was exposed.
According to the scholars, if it is the tombs of the Jewish community of the city, it is possible that in the glorious ones in which the sages of Yavneh were buried, the contemporaries of Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai, Rabbi Akiva and Rabban Gamliel
Monday, 29 November 2021, 08:56 Updated: 09:00
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Sarcophagi from the Sanhedrin were found in Yavne (Photo: Yaniv Berman, Israel Antiquities Authority)
Yavne continues to provide impressive archeological finds dating back almost 2,000 years: After the city unveiled last month a 1500-year-old wine factory, known as the largest in the world, today (Monday) reveals evidence of the life - and death - of Yavneh Sanhedrin residents - late 1st and 1st century 2nd AD.
The excavation revealed, for the first time, the remains of a building dating to the days of the Sanhedrin, in which limestone cups were discovered, indicating a Jewish presence and the observance of the laws of impurity and purity at the site.
The excavation, which is being conducted before the expansion of the city at the initiative of the Israel Land Authority and in collaboration with the Yavne Municipality, also revealed a large-scale cemetery from these days.
"The discovery of the finds from the days of the Sanhedrin is very exciting," say Pablo Betzer and Dr. Daniel Verga, the directors of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Jewish people".
More on Walla!
A 1500-year-old wine factory, known as the largest in the world, was unveiled in Yavne
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Most of them are made of stone and one of lead.
The sarcophagi discovered in Yavne (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority, Yaniv Berman)
Remains of the building from the days of the Sanhedrin found in Yavne (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority, Emil Aljem)
Aerial view (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority, Assaf Peretz)
"Dozens of unusually arranged tombs"
The excavation revealed for the first time a building of an industrial character, dating to the 3rd-3rd centuries AD. A number of fragments of stone vessels of the type known as "measuring cups" were discovered on its floor - vessels that do not receive impurity, identified with the Jewish population of the late Second Temple and 2nd century CE.
Just 70 meters from the building, an impressive cemetery was unveiled. "We found dozens of unusually arranged graves, in fixed rows and distances, which may indicate the existence of a 'burial society' - some factor that was responsible for the burial," say Betzer and Dr. Varga. Sarcophagi), most of them made of stone, and one - of lead. "
The directors of the excavation add that "according to the location of the cemetery, it can be assumed that it was erected outside the city limits, in accordance with Jewish law and Roman law. But were Jews or pagans buried here? It is too early to determine, .
Daniel Verga near a sarcophagus found at the excavation site (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority, July Schwartz)
Tombs from the Sanhedrin in Yavne (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority, Emil Aljem)
An urn unearthed in excavations (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority, Emil Aljem)
Glass vials as uncovered in the field (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority, Emil Aljem)
The foundations of Judaism as we know it today were laid in Yavne
Another surprising find was discovered in the excavation: more than 150 glass vials lying over the graves. According to Dr. Yael Gorin-Rosen, head of the glass industry at the Israel Antiquities Authority, "The vials were probably used to store valuable liquids, such as fragrant oils. About half of them were produced locally and a second half - imported from Alexandria in Egypt. Such vials are discovered in both excavations in Jewish tombs and in pagan tombs from the 1st century to the beginning of the 3rd century AD. Laying the bottles outside the tombs in Yavneh and not inside them, as was customary, is a mystery. "In
ancient times, Yavneh was one of the most important cities in the southern coastal plain. Many in the writings of Yosef ben Matityahu.
Towards the end of the Second Temple period, a mixed city was built, most of whose inhabitants were Jews.
According to the descriptions in the literature of Chazal, before the destruction of the Second Temple, Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai fled from besieged Jerusalem, and he persuaded the Roman emperor Vespasian to allow him to re-establish the Sanhedrin in Yavneh. Yavneh and its sages. "
after the destruction of the Temple to the Bar Kochba revolt, was built Jewish spiritual center most important in Israel. Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai, followed by -rbn Gamliel instituted build the Sanhedrin and the institution of the presidency, restored the life of Torah in Israel and amended the relevant regulations to reality Without a temple, it can be said that the foundations of Judaism as we know it today were laid in Yavne.
The director of the excavation, Daniel Verga, with the vials discovered above the grave (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority, Yaniv Berman)
The ancient cemetery in Yavne (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority, Yaniv Berman)
"We found dozens of tombs that are unusually arranged, in rows and at regular distances" (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority, Yaniv Berman)
As part of the excellent Israel Heritage Week this week, the Israel Antiquities Authority invites the public to visit the Yavneh excavation and other sites.
For details: http://moreshetonline.org.il.