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BYU Studies Quarterly

BYU Studies Quarterly

Abstract

One of the most stunning archaeological finds of the last century was the accidental discovery in 1920 of the ruins of Dura Europos, "a frontier town of very mixed population and traditions" located on a cliff ninety meters above the Euphrates River in what is now Syria. This Helenistic city had been abandoned following a Sassanian siege in AD 256–57 and was eventually buried by the shifting sands. Among the structures uncovered by excavation was a small Jewish synagogue with elaborately painted walls, preserved only because the building had been filled with earth as a fortification during the siege.

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