The last category in this chapter are deposits placed in the synagogue or in its ruins after the building was destroyed. The coins could have been placed in the synagogue building because people believed that the sacredness of the space would protect the deposit, or that they would bless the building (as a closing or protective offering?). While coins from the magico-religious deposits were brought in before the building was constructed, and the votive offerings and genizot, charity hoards, treasuries, or emergency hoards were deposited inside the building during its use as a ritual space, post-destruction offerings were placed in the building after its (partial) destruction. However, while their category, based on their stratigraphy, is easy to determine, their specific function is difficult to decipher. The only two examples that can be categorized as post-destruction deposits with certainty are Horvat Rimmon (Deposit 1) and Horvat Rimmon (Deposit 2). After the synagogue was partly destroyed by fire at the end of Phase II, the main hall was cleared out and restored. The ashy destruction debris was collected and stored in the western side room. Shortly after this, sometime in the late 5th or early 6th century, two coin deposits were placed in the upper layer of this debris. Both deposits contain gold coins (12and 35 coins respectively), placed inside a ceramic vessel, closed off by a stone, and buried upside down in the destruction fill, carefully covered with earth. As we will see later (“Protection against the evil eye”), the so-called “Aramaic incantation bowls” from Late Antiquity were also buried upside down to trap demons creeping into the building. Could this habit of burying magical objects upside down have spread from Mesopotamia to other regions and other objects, even if these objects did not have a half-round “trapping” shape, thus only preserving the allegorical meaning? Did these deposits have an apotropaic, defensive function, keeping evil out of the building, but more importantly blessing and protecting the building and its visitors? And were coins chosen because the community was influenced by the magico-religious coin phenomenon (see below), but wanted something stronger (gold vs. bronze) to make sure a catastrophic fire would never happen again? All of this is possible.
Because of their specific archaeological context, post-destruction offerings can be relatively easily discerned; the only prerequisite is that they were placed in the building after its (partial) destruction. Only two of our deposits might be assigned to this category: Horvat Rimmon (Deposit 1) and Horvat Rimmon (Deposit 2). A map can be found at https://www.ancientsynagoguecoins.com/post-destruction-offerings/ . The latest coins in these deposits date to 518 CE.
Map of all sites where Post-Destruction Offerings have been found. Hover over a triangle to see the name of the site.
Table of all Post-Destruction Coins broken up per deposit. Toggle the parameter to show the emperor under which each coin was minted, the minting place, or the end date (final terminus post quem) of each coin.
Table of all Synagogue Post-Destruction Coins. Toggle the parameter to choose between exact dates or quarter centuries.
Table of all Synagogue Post-Destruction Coins. Toggle the parameter to show the emperor under which each coin was minted, the minting place, or the end date (final terminus post quem) of each coin; or choose between absolute numbers or percentage of total.
 Werlin 2015, p. 228.
 Magness 2003, pp. 97–98 and Bijovsky 2012, p. 96. Unfortunately, we still cannot be sure about the burial circumstances of these deposits. Our interpretation of “post-destruction deposits” stands or falls with the notion that the deposits were placed here after the destruction, not with the destruction.
 Magness 2003, p. 98 notes that “the hoard of gold coins was buried…as a security precaution against similar future destructions,” giving it an apotropaic function. Bijovsky 2012, p. 97 on the other hand states that the dump area was “a safe spot to hide valuable goods,” indicating that the deposits were meant to be retrieved and were not defensive.