The Israel Antiquities Authority has discovered remarkable evidence of the last Jewish revolt against Roman rule.

At the heart of the discovery lies the remains of a magnificent public building from the Late Roman-Early Byzantine period, believed to have served as a gathering place for Lod’s Jewish elders. It speaks volumes about the brutal suppression of the revolt by the forces of Roman Caesar Flavius Constantinus Gallus (351-354 CE).

Upon further investigation, a hoard of 94 silver and bronze coins dating pack to that era were found concealed in the building’s foundations. The structure’s Jewish identity was identified by Torah inscriptions in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. One inscription, still under study, bears the name of a Jewish man from a priestly family.

“It is difficult to determine if this magnificent building served as a synagogue, study hall, meeting hall of the elders, or all three of these functions as one. But what is clear is that the building’s size, the coin hoard, and the assemblage of archaeological finds produced by the excavation, fit well with Lod’s description in both Jewish and non-Jewish sources as a center of Torah-true Jewish life in the Mishnah and Talmud periods,” IAA Director Joshua Schwartz said in a statement.

“Lod’s role as a leading community with elders continued from after the destruction through to this moment when it was cruelly cut down in the Gallus Revolt,” he added.

As the story of this ancient uprising unfolds, it serves as a reminder of the enduring spirt of the Jewish people as it faced calamity.

Excavation site in Lod (Credit IAA)

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