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A first-century synagogue discovered near Tel Beit Shemesh is being dismantled and moved to make way for Highway 38.  Archaeologists were called in when workers at the highway-widen project encountered artifacts from First-Temple period.  The highway was rerouted, but during the excavations for the route change, they unearthed a Second-Temple era site.  One of the buildings uncovered was a synagogue that dates to the first century.  Archaeologists believe the structure itself dates to the Herodian period and that the village was eventually abandoned during the Bar Kochba revolt of the early second century.  Authorities have decided to dismantle the synagogue and move it to another location, as they cannot reroute the highway again.  Unfortunately, the relocation budget is in now question given the current economic situation from the coronavirus pandemic.


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