The archeological site of Ein Gedi (Eingedi) is located about half a mile north of the Nachal David – Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. Every January a group of volunteers continues to excavate this interesting site. This past January (2011) they revealed another room in the Ein Gedi old synagogue complex and found multiple clay objects.
The old synagogue was built in the 2nd century CE, when the Jewish community of Ein Gedi enjoyed the fine weather and abundance of water to become one the wealthiest communities of those times. It is believed that the cultivation of the Balsam, a plant that was the origin of the most expensive fragrance in the ancient world was the source of their wealth, as the Dead Sea valley was the only place suitable for the growth of this plant.
For years scholars have debated which plant was the real source for this treasure; and in the past few months great progress has been made in this research. Researchers now believe that a plant found in Sudan that they intend to grow again in the Ein Gedi Botanical Garden will solve this mystery.
The Synagogue floor was well preserved, and you can see the original mosaic floor on site. There are 4 beautiful inscriptions on the side of the floor, but these are not the originals, as this part of the floor was taken to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. See the Ein Gedi Photo Gallery.
Access to Ein Gedi Synagogue
The Ein Gedi Synagogue is part of the Ein Gedi National Park and can be visited together with the Ein Gedi hiking trails.