Byzantine Period, 5th-6th centuries AD
Overview: Ein Keshatot is an ancient Jewish Village on the Golan Heights. The synagogue was discovered in 1884 by Laurence Oliphant, a Scottish Christin Zionist. He later wrote: “I see in the ruins of Um el-Kanatir the best of the discoveries that I have ever made.” Um el-Kanatir is the site’s Arabic name and means “Site of the Arches” (see arches below). The site’s ancient name is not known. The Israeli Government Names Committee gave the site its Hebrew name “Ein Keshatot” or “Keshatot Spring”. The site was opened to the public in 2018 after fifteen years of reconstruction and preservation work.
Timeline: 67 AD - Destruction of Gamla during the First Jewish Revolt against the Romans; 70 AD - Destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem; 150 AD - Establishment of the village at Ein Keshatot; 550 AD - Construction of the synagogue at Ein Keshatot; 749 AD - An earthquake destroys the synagogue and village at Ein Keshatot.
Illustration: An artist’s conception of the ancient synagogue with surrounding houses from the site’s brochure.