Initial Findings of Archaeological Excavations

In the fall of 2012 the Archaeological Rescue Service of the Institute for Archaeology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, held archaeological excavations, whose goal was to find and record the traces and remains of the Beth HaMidrash, as well as to prepare proposals for the documentation for the “Synagogues Square” Project. Previous excavations on the site had been held in 2010 (by archaeologist Ostap Lazurko). They revealed the structure of the building, and uncovered the foundations of two of the four columns of the prayer hall.

The archaeological survey discovered foundations of three columns of the prayer hall, established the location of the western and eastern walls, as well as the probable angle of the bimah (special elevated platform holding the podium for reading the Torah and the Haftarah). The archaeological findings will be taken into account in the implementation of the “Synagogues Square” project – among other things, experts will provide archaeological oversight over construction works, and research remnants of any historical objects, should they be found. If these remnants have historical or cultural significance, documentation will be prepared for eventually putting the heritage objects in a museum and exhibiting them.

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