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Second Century City Unearthed in Galilee

September 23, 1992
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Impressive remains of an ancient center of Jewish learning have been uncovered in Galilee.

A second-century colonnaded avenue was turned up at the site of Sepphoris, seat of the Sanhedrin in the third century and home of Judah Hanassi, compiler of the Mishnah.

The finds at present day Zipori were reported by the Hebrew University Institute of Archaeology, which is conducting the dig in cooperation with the National Parks Authority, the Israel Exploration Society and the Galilee Foundation.

A second-century paved limestone road was found still pitted by the ruts left by wagon wheels. Remains of columns have been turned up along 60 feet of an avenue believed to be the main avenue of the city.

Known also as Diocaesarea, the site was also an important Roman and early Christian city. Mosaics that have been brought to light include figures of a centaur and depictions of half-nude Amazons, as well as of a bull with a river flowing from its nostrils.

Work focused on an area east of a hill on which excavators had earlier dug up a Crusader fortress and earlier Roman amphitheater.

The excavations will be incorporated into a planned tourism site.

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