The Hammat Tiberias Synagogue, (Hebrew: Beit Knesset Hamat
Tveriya) also known as the Severus synagogue, is an ancient
synagogue on the outskirts of Tiberias, Israel, located near
the hot springs just south of the city.
Two synagogue sites have been excavated at Hammat Tiberias.
The first, uncovered in 1921 by Nachum Slouschz, working
under the sponsorship of the Jewish Palestine Exploration
Society, was a watershed event in the history of Israeli
archaeology as the first archaeological dig conducted under
Jewish auspices. A limestone menorah uncovered there is
now on display at the Israel Museum.
The second synagogue site, excavated by Moshe Dothan, is
noted for its elaborate mosaic floor. The synagogue was
named after an inscription that reads, in Greek, "Severus
the pupil of the most illustrious patriarchs," an apparent
reference to the leaders of the Jewish community.
In the center of one large mosaic is the Sun god, Helios,
sitting in his chariot holding the celestial sphere and a
whip. Nine of the 12 signs of the zodiac survived intact.
Another panel shows a Torah ark flanked by two the seven-
branched menorahs and other Jewish ritual objects.