Ruins of 7th century Arab palace identified in Israel

Mar 16, 2010
An archeologist cleans the stone engraved with a seven-branched Menorah (candelabrum), in Israel, in 2009. Ruins in northern Israel previously thought to have been a synagogue have now been identified as a 7th century palace used by the Umayyad caliph who started construction of Jerusalem's Dome of the Rock, archaeologists said on Tuesday.

Ruins in northern Israel previously thought to have been a synagogue have now been identified as a 7th century palace used by the Umayyad caliph who started construction of Jerusalem's Dome of the Rock, archaeologists said on Tuesday.

The site on the shores of the Sea of Galilee is that of the Al-Sinnabra palace, which was described by early Arab historians but whose precise location had long been unknown, according to Tel Aviv University, whose Institute of Archaeology led the recent excavations.

dug up the site in the early 1950s but identified it as the ruins of an ancient synagogue, a theory that was questioned in 2002 by a University of Chicago expert who identified the site as that of the Al-Sinnabra palace.

The latest excavations and research by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem confirmed the site was that of the palace where the Umayyad rulers would spend the winter months.

Among the caliphs who used the was Abd al-Malik, who initiated construction of the Dome of the Rock at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound which is Islam's third holiest site after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.

The Umayyads were an early Arab Muslim dynasty that ruled much of the Middle East and North Africa from 661 to 750 AD.

Explore further: Researchers create methylation maps of Neanderthals and Denisovans, compare them to modern humans

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Archaeologists find early depiction of a menorah

Sep 11, 2009

(AP) -- Israeli archaeologists have uncovered one of the earliest depictions of a menorah, the seven-branched candelabra that has come to symbolize Judaism, the Israel Antiquities Authority said Friday. The ...

Recommended for you

Crowd-sourcing Britain's Bronze Age

Apr 17, 2014

A new joint project by the British Museum and the UCL Institute of Archaeology is seeking online contributions from members of the public to enhance a major British Bronze Age archive and artefact collection.

Roman dig 'transforms understanding' of ancient port

Apr 17, 2014

(Phys.org) —Researchers from the universities of Cambridge and Southampton have discovered a new section of the boundary wall of the ancient Roman port of Ostia, proving the city was much larger than previously ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Clippers and coiners in 16th-century England

In 2017 a new £1 coin will appear in our pockets with a design extremely difficult to forge. In the mid-16th century, Elizabeth I's government came up with a series of measures to deter "divers evil persons" ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...