Beit She'arim Coffins 001

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  • Title:  Beit She'arim Coffins 001
  • Description:  Beit She'arim is the currently used name for the ancient Jewish town of Bet She'arayim ("House of Two Gates") or Kfar She'arayim ("Village of Two Gates").

    The partially excavated archaeological site consists mainly of an extensive necropolis of rock-cut tombs and some remains of the town itself. It borders the town of Kiryat Tiv'on on the northeast and is located five kilometres west of Moshav Beit She'arim. It is situated 20 km east of Haifa in the southern foothills of the Lower Galilee.

    Most of the remains date from the 2nd to 4th century CE. A large number of individuals were buried in the more than twenty catacombs of the necropolis. Geographical references in inscriptions on the walls of the catacombs reveal that the necropolis was used by people from the town of Beit She'arim, from elsewhere in Galilee, and even from cities as far away as Palmyra and Tyre.

    Aside from an extensive body of inscriptions in several languages, the walls and tombs have many images, engraved and carved in relief, ranging from Jewish symbols and geometric decoration to animals and figures from Hellenistic myth and religion.

    In October 2009, two new caves were opened to the public whose burial vaults date to the first two centuries CE.
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  • Keywords:  Coffins, She'arim, Beit
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