Excavating the ancient city of Limyra in southwestern Anatolia, archaeologists have unearthed evidence of a Jewish community, probably dating to the first centuries of the Common Era. Megan Sauter writes:
In a building recently excavated by Martin Seyer, chancel screens with Jewish symbols—menorahs, a shofar, and a lulav (palm branch)—have been uncovered. In a later period, these screens were broken and reused as paving stones.
In the same building, close to the discovery spot of the chancel screens, is a water basin. With plastered walls and a floor of marble slabs, this basin was fed by rainwater. A low stone bench rests against one of the walls. Could this basin have served as a mikveh, a Jewish ritual bath? . . .
In short, it appears that this building had features of a synagogue in both an early and late phase. . . . [The marble] slabs are without doubt remnants of screens that separated the Torah shrine from the rest of the hall. Such chancel screens have been found in many synagogues near the Torah shrine.
Read more at Bible History Daily
More about: ancient Judaism, Ancient Near East, Archaeology, History & Ideas, Synagogue, Turkish Jewry