Zippori

Zippori also known as Sepphoris is an archaeological site located in the central Galilee region of Israel, 6 kilometres (3.7 miles) north-northwest of Nazareth near Moshav Zippori. It is 286 metres above sea level and overlooks the Beit Netofa Valley.

Zippori010515 (81)At the site there are many historical and architectural artifacts including Hellenistic, Jewish, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, Crusader, Arabic and Ottoman influences. Notable structures include a Roman theatre, two early Christian churches, a Crusader fort that was renovated by Daher-el-Omar in the 18th century, and over sixty different mosaics dating from the third to the sixth century CE. According to Christian tradition it is believed to be the birthplace of the Mary, mother of Jesus, and the village where Saints Anna and Joachim are often said to have resided.

Following the Bar Kokhba revolt of 132–135, Zippori was one of the centres in Galilee where rabbinical families from Judea relocated. Remains of a 6th-century synagogue have been uncovered in the lower section of the site. In the 7th century, the town was conquered by the Arab caliphates like much of the rest of Palestine. Successive Arab and Islamic imperial authorities ruled the area until the end of the first World War I, with a brief interruption during the Crusades.

Until its depopulation during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Saffuriya was a Palestinian Arab village. Moshav Zippori was established adjacent to the site in 1949. It falls under the jurisdiction of Jezreel Valley Regional Council, and in 2006 had a population of 616. The area occupied by the former Arab village was designated a national park in 1992.

Names:

Sepphoris, Σέπφωρις), also known as Tzipori,  צִפּוֹרִי, Diocaesaraea, (Ancient Greek: Διοκαισάρεια), and Saffuriya, Arabic: صفورية‎, also transliterated Safurriya and Suffurriye.