© Journal of Roman Archaeology 31 (2018)
Josephus’ “Cydasa of the Tyrians”
(Tel Qedesh) in eastern Upper Galilee
Eastern Upper Galilee in the Roman period evidently housed two ethnic groups in an
often hostile relationship (cf. Jos., BJ 3.35-40): in the north, a pagan population belonging
to the chora of Tyre, which would have included Qedesh, and in the south a Jewish popu-
lation. The two ethnic-based territories, which exhibit clear dierences in their material
culture,1 were separated by the deep ravine of Naḥal Dishon (wadi Hindaj).2 Other than
urban temples, pagan temples, usually dated to the 2nd and 3rd c. A.D.,3 are limited to the
area north of Naḥal Dishon, while synagogues, which continued to be erected into the late-
antique period,4 lie to its south.5 Qedesh lies 35 km southeast of the large metropolis of Tyre
(g. 1) across a rough mountainous area which made communication somewhat dicult.
Until recently, the site was
best known for its well-
preserved and impressive
Roman remains set on the
eastern hill, some 200 m
east of the tell, that include
the best-preserved Roman
temple façade in Cis-Jor-
dan, along with two ne
mausolea and several
probably part of the set-
tlement’s necropolis. The
present article aims to
address some key ques-
tions about the location
and layout of the Roman
selement. After review-
ing relevant historical
1 M. Aviam, “Distribution maps of archaeological data from the Galilee: an aempt to establish
zones indicative of ethnicity and religious aliation,” in J. Zangenberg, H. W. Aridge and
D. B. Martin (edd.), Religion, ethnicity and identity in ancient Galilee: a region in transition (Tübingen
2007) 115-32; D. Syon, Small change in Hellenistic-Roman Galilee: the evidence from numismatic site
nds as a tool for historical reconstruction (Jerusalem 2015) 87-101.
2 R. Frankel et al., Selement dynamics and regional diversity in ancient Upper Galilee (Jerusalem
3 M. Fischer, A. Ovadiah and I. Roll, “The Roman temple at Kedesh, Upper Galilee: a preliminary
study,” Tel Aviv 11 (1984) 146-72; M. Aviam, Jews, pagans, and Christians in the Galilee: 25 years of
archaeological excavations and surveys: Hellenistic to Byzantine periods (Rochester, NY 2004) 14.
4 R. Hachlili, Ancient synagogues — archaeology and art: new discoveries and current research (Leiden
2013) 586-95. There is an ongoing debate regarding the date of Galilean synagogues: cf.
C. Spiegel, “Debating ancient synagogue dating: the implications of deteriorating data,” BASOR
376 (2016) 83-100.
5 Frankel et al. (supra n.2) g. 4.4. The northernmost Galilean synagogues are at ̒Alma and
Fig. 1. Location of Tel Qedesh and other Roman sites (large circles indicate
urban sites, small circles rural sites (author).
This is the rst page only. On how to acquire
the full article please click this link.