Biblical Archaeology Review 29:2, March/April 2003

Discovering Herod’s Shrine to Augustus

Mystery Temple Found at Omrit

By J. Andrew OvermanJack OliveMichael Nelson

There is something here I think you ought to see,” our good friend Moti Aviam told us over the phone. It was the summer of 1998 and Aviam, then in charge of western Galilee for the Israel Antiquities Authority, was touring the devastation from a wildfire in drought-ridden northeastern Galilee, not far from the old border with Syria. Our team from Macalester College was just concluding a six-year project in Ukraine, excavating a synagogue on the Crimean peninsula,a so Aviam’s call came at an auspicious time for us. We went to survey the burned-out site, which is still called by its ancient name—Omrit.

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