Late Roman-Byzantine-Period Ritual Baths at Horbat Susya in Daroma

Yuval Baruch, Ronny Reich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the Byzantine period, and especially in the fifth-seventh centuries CE, a unique rural Jewish settlement developed at Susya, inDaroma (southern Hebron Hills). This uniqueness is expressed in various aspects of its material culture, including many ritual baths, which were found in almost every residence, in connection with agricultural production and even beneath the synagogue. This article presents data concerning the ritual baths, with special emphasis on ritual baths located near installations to produce oil and wine, and a ritual bath located in a subterranean space beneath the synagogue, offering a reexamination of the connection between purification and synagogues. The many ritual baths found at the site, long after the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE, seem to represent the aspiration of the members of the Jewish community at Susya to segregate themselves from the threatening Christian environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-96
Number of pages38
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Israel Antiquities Authority. All rights reserved.


  • Byzantineperiod
  • Daroma
  • Jewish village
  • Late Roman period
  • miqweh
  • oilpress
  • priest
  • purity
  • ritual bath
  • synagogue
  • winepress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Conservation
  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology


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