I decided to title my post North of Galilee II since we visited some of the same places that I wrote about in my post North of Galilee three years ago. You can also visit Galilee Sea to see more pictures from the area.
Our first stop of the day was at Magdala to see the Migdal Synagogue. The synagogue is known by both Magdala and Migdal and was built in the Second Temple period. The synagogue would have been in existence at the time of Christ and he could have possibly visited it.
In the picture above you can see the Magdala stone. It is believed that it could have been used to hold the scrolls when they were being read. The stone is very interesting as it has the earliest known image of a menorah. The original stone is in the Rockefeller Museum, but two copies are at the site.
Our next stop was at Tel Abel Beth Maacah. See my post North of Galilee to learn more about what happened here.
We visited the excavations that are underway there. The excavation team is led by Dr. Robert Mullins of Azusa Pacific University and Dr. Nava Panitz-Cohen of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
We visited two of the areas and then climbed to the very top of the tel to get a great view of the border area with Lebanon and Syria.
We then traveled on to Dan. One of the things I wanted to see was the Bronze Age gate. I did not get to see it during my last visit. This gate is made from mud bricks. It may have been in existence when Abraham visited Dan so is popularly referred to as the Abraham Gate.
In the last few days I have been from Dan to Beersheba. We then went on to Hazor. There are active excavations going on at Hazor, but since we arrived late in the day we were not able to visit them. However, here is a shot of some of the more recent excavations. In the background you can see the city gates that were rebuilt at the time of Solomon.
On the way to our hostel we stopped by Capernaum. Most of you will know this as the town the Peter was from. There is also a large synagogue there that is possible built over an earlier one. I found this picture interesting as it shows that the old basalt blocks were not level and also were not aligned perfectly with the bottom course of the newer synagogue. You can see that the lighter color blocks narrow at the left side of the picture.
Tomorrow we will visit a few sites on the way to the airport before heading for home.