Archaeologists excavating at the ancient city of Limyra in southern Turkey recently uncovered the remains of an ancient synagogue, complete with a bath and menorah. Limyra was part of the Lycian League, a confederation of coastal cities considered one of the world’s first democracies* before being annexed as a province of the Roman Empire. This is the second synagogue discovered in Lycia; the first was discovered in Myra (modern Demre), an ancient city often remembered as the home of St. Nicholas.** Excavation director Martin Seyer believes that the discovery was part of a larger synagogue field, and it reflects a wide and rich Jewish population in Lycia.
*For more on Lycian democracy, read the Bible History Daily news update “Restoration Completed on the World’s Oldest Major Parliament”
** For more on Myra, read Skurdenis, Julie. “Destinations: Myra, Turkey.” Archaeology Odyssey, Summer 1998, 68-71.
Excavations at Myra indicate that the early Christian city was remarkably preserved. Find out the latest excavation results in the Bible History Daily news update “Exposing St. Nicholas’ Christian Capital at Myra.”
Want to discover Lycia for yourself? Read about the Lycian Way, a popular hiking trail weaving through natural wonders and millennia of archaeological sites.