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Dates Excavated:



Fanny Vitto

Archaeological Information: /

Date of Building Construction:

Phase I: beginning 4th century [925]
Phase II: end 4th century- beginning 5th century [926]
Phase III: 6th century [926]

Place of Building in Settlement:
Building set off from surrounding dwellings by a street. [928]

Building Description:
Phase I: This was a basilica with two rows of five columns. There were three doors in the north wall and one door in the east wall. There was a mosaic floor of which only portions of the borders in the aisles have been preserved. Phase II: A bemah was added by the south wall with steps on the western and eastern sides. The floor was covered with mosaics of high quality showing geometrical designs and the columns were decorated with Hebrew and Aramaic inscriptions. Phase III: Many renovations and modifications were carried out in the building until it was destroyed in the 7th century. A narthex was added to the northern side of the building with a mosaic floor and inscriptions. The bemah was widened, the side steps were filled in, and two sets of steps were added to the northern side. The bemah probably had a chancel screen in front of it. The mosaic floor underwent considerable repairs. Benches were built over the previous mosaic floor against the east and west walls. The entrances to the building remained the same.

Maps and Plans

Copyright-Protected Materials (logged-in members only)

First Deposit

Date Excavated: 1968

Deposit Location:

Surface find

Archaeological Information:


Certain association with the building itself? No

Deposit Retrievable? Yes

Deposit Type: IIA4

Deposit Description:

A local kibbutz member found 28 Byzantine gold coins in a clay box during preparation for cultivation of a plot of land on which the Arab village of Farwana had stood until 1948. [929]  Together with the coins were fragments of a chancel screen with a depiction of a seven-branched menorah. The deposit was found a few meters south of the south wall of the synagogue.

Container Present? Yes: clay box

Description of Coins:
The gold coins found in a box at Rehob were first analyzed in 1969 by Abraham Paltiel. He identified 16 coins of Heraclius I, 7 coins of Constans II, 3 coins of Constantine IV, and one coin of Justinian II, for a total of 27 coins. [930] He dated all the coins between 630 and 685 CE. However, the coins were re-analyzed by Gabriela Bijovsky in 2012, who provided a more up-to-date interpretation. At the moment, 10 coins are registered at the IAA, while the rest remain in the possession of the member of Kibbutz ‘En ha-Naziv who found the deposit. According to Bijovsky, all the coins are gold solidi struck by emperors of the 7th century: 14 coins of Heraclius I, 9 of Constans II, 4 of Constantine IV, and one of Justinian II, for a total of 28 coins ranging from 613/616 CE to 686/687 CE. Coins of Justinian II are a rare find in Palestine: this is the only synagogue deposit that contains a coin from this emperor. All the coins were minted in Constantinople and are common types, although one of the solidi of Constans II is a light-weight solidus of 23 siliquae, weighing 4.17 grams (instead of 4.30 grams for a normal solidus).

Conspectus Table:

Conspectus table Rehob, Deposit 1. This table can be seen in full screen by clicking the icon on the bottom right. For more details on the specific coins in each row, please hover over the numbers.

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Second Deposit

Date Excavated: 1974

Deposit Location:

Under the rubble of a collapsed wall west of the Torah shrine

Archaeological Information:


Certain association with the building itself? Unknown

Deposit Retrievable? Unknown

Deposit Type: II?5

Deposit Description:

14 Arab-Byzantine copper coins, apparently wrapped in cloth, were found beneath the rubble of a collapsed wall separating the western aisle from a small room west of the bemah. [931]

Container Present? Yes: cloth

Description of Coins:
The 14 Arab-Byzantine bronze coins found during the excavation of the synagogue at Rehob in the 1970s have not been published yet. In her 2012 article on the gold coin deposit, Bijovsky writes that they will be published by Nitzan Amitai-Preiss as part of the final report, but this has not appeared yet. [932] The only information we have on these coins is that there are one “Arab-Byzantine 1” series coin (circa 647-670 CE) and 13 “Arab-Byzantine 2” series coins (circa 670-690 CE), divided into the following groups: two coins from Damascus, one “Lazy S” type, five Pseudo-Damascus coins, and five al-wafā lillāh coins. These dates correspond to the Deposit 1 dates, making the deposits contemporaneous: they represent two different currencies in circulation during the second half of the 7th century: imperial Byzantine gold coinage and provincial bronze coinage.

Conspectus Table:

Conspectus table Rehob, Deposit 2. This table can be seen in full screen by clicking the icon on the bottom right. For more details on the specific coins in each row, please hover over the numbers.

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– Paltiel A., 1969, “A Hoard of Byzantine Gold Coins from the Town of Rehov,” in: Israel Numismatic Bulletin, Vol. 3, pp. 101-106 (Hebrew)
– Vitto F., 1974, “Ancient Synagogue at Rehov,” in: ‘Atiqot, vol. 7, pp. 17-18 (English summary), 100-104 (Hebrew)
– Vitto F., 1975, “The Synagogue of Rehov,” in: Qadmoniyot, Vol. 8, pp. 119-123 (Hebrew)
– Vitto. F., 1980, “The Synagogue of Rehov, 1980,” in: Israel Exploration Journal, Vol. 30, No. 3-4, pp. 214-217
– Vitto F., 1981, “A Byzantine Synagogue in the Beth She’an Valley,” in: Avraham, Biran (ed.), Temples and High places in Biblical Times, Jerusalem: Hebrew Union College, pp. 164-167
– Sussman J., 1981, “The Inscription in the Synagogue at Rehob,” in: Ancient Synagogues Revealed, Jerusalem: The Israel Exploration Society, pp. 146-153
– Vitto F., 1981, “The Synagogue at Rehob,” in: Ancient Synagogues Revealed, Jerusalem: The Israel Exploration Society, pp. 90-94
– Chiat M., 1982, Handbook of Synagogue Architecture, Chico: Scholars Press, pp. 138-144
– Chen D., 1986,“The Design of the Ancient Synagogues in Galilee, III,” in: Liber Annuus, Vol. 36, pp. 235-240
– Ilan Z., 1991, Ancient Synagogues in Israel, Tel Aviv: Ministry of Defence, pp. 168-189 (Hebrew)
– Vitto F., 1993, “Rehob,” in: NEAEHL, pp. 1272-1274
– Dauphin C. 1998, La Palestine Byzantine: Peuplement et Population, Oxford, Vol. 3, pp. 785-786
– Milson D., 2007, Art and Architecture of the Synagogue in Late Antique Palestine: in the Shadow of the Church, Leiden/Boston, pp. 456-461
– Bijovsky G., 2012, “A Byzantine Gold Hoard from Rehob (H. Parwa),” in: Israel Numismatic Research, Vol. 7, pp. 147-158
– Spigel C., 2012, Ancient Synagogue Seating Capacities: Methodology, Analysis and Limits, Mohr Siebeck, pp. 297-301
– Hachlili R., 2013, Ancient Synagogues: Archaeology and Art: New Discoveries and Current Research, Leiden: Brill, pp. 177, 181-182, 213, 249, 520-521, 552
– Vitto F., 2015, “Wall Paintings in the Synagogue of Rehov: An Account of Their Discovery,” in: The Israel Museum Studies in Archaeology, Vol. 7, pp. 1-12


– The Bornblum Eretz Israel Synagogues Website:


[925] Based on “architectural fragments together with coins and ceramic finds” (Vitto 1980, p. 215) However, no final report on this excavation has been published to verify these dates.

[926] Based on “style of the mosaic pavement, the coins and the pottery” (Vitto 1980, p. 215).

[927] Based on pottery sherds found below the mosaic inscription of the third phase of the building (Vitto 1980, p. 217).

[928] The synagogue was discovered in 1969, when during agricultural land preparations various architectural fragments of the building, including pieces of a marble chancel screen, came to light (Vitto 1982, p. 90).

[929] In her 1982 report, Vitto mentions 27 coins, and 27 were also analyzed by Paltiel in 1969. However, Bijovksy analyzes 28 coins from Rehob in her 2012 publication: coin No. 5 in her catalogue does not appear in Paltiel’s catalogue. It is unclear where this coin came from (perhaps two coins were stuck together?).

[930] Paltiel 1969, pp. 104-105.

[931] Bijovsky 2012, p. 148. Vitto refers to this hoard as the “money-pouch” in her publications.

[932] Bijovsky 2012, p. 148, footnote 2. In the fall of 2019, I reached out to Amitai-Preiss as well as to Fanny Vitto, the director of the excavations at Rehob, to ask about the progress on the analysis of these coins and if I could use the unpublished analysis for this project. They responded that I was allowed to look at the bronze coins and analyze them myself, on condition that this would only be for an internal thesis and not for publication, including not online. Since this dissertation will be available online, however, and after consultation with Donald Ariel of the IAA, I decided not to include the unpublished information on these coins in my database. The information that I do provide here can be found in Bijovsky 2012.