The Hamat Tiberias national park, home to the 17 springs of the city of Hamat Tiberius, was discovered accidently in 1920 during the construction of the Tiberias-Zemach road. The synagogue here was built between 286 and 337 CE, when the Sanhedrin was headquartered in Tiberias.
It is called the Severus Synagogue after a name that appears in a Greek inscription on its mosaic floor. The mosaic floor–the earliest synagogue mosaic in the country–is the highlight of the synagogue. It consists of three panels. The central one depicts a spectacular zodiac, surrounding Helios the sun god, driving his chariot across the sky. The images of four women symbolizing the seasons appear in each corner of this panel.
The 17 springs of the city of Hamat Tiberias, a concentration of seventeen health springs that flow at a temperature of 60 C and include about a hundred natural minerals which possess medicinal properties, have been famous since antiquity for their healing qualities. Due to the fact that they brought relief for various ailments, including boils, Jewish sages permitted people to bath in them even on the Sabbath.
The Hamam Suleiman Museum, at the entrance to the park, offers a fascinating insight into the history and culture of this area and displays various other archaeological finds including a Turkish bath that was once active here.
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