The Israel Antiquities Authority has unearthed the sprawling 1,600-year-old estate of a wealthy Samaritan man.
The estate was found at Zur Natan on the southern Sharon Plain and is believed to have been a part of an extensive Samaritan settlement in the area. During the excavation, researchers discovered a Greek inscription, which says: “Only God help the beautiful property of Master Adios, amen.”
“The inscription was discovered in an impressive winepress that was apparently part of the agricultural estate of a wealthy individual called Adios. This is only the second such winepress discovered in Israel with a blessing inscription associated with the Samaritans. The first was discovered a few years ago in Apollonia near Herzliya,” says Dr. Hagit Torge, director of the excavations on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
While researchers don’t know much about Master Adios, Dr. Torge says the inscription proves he was an important part of the Samaritan community at the time.
“‘Master'” was an honorific given to senior members of the community and attests to the high social standing of the owners of the estate,” says Torge. “The location of the winepress is near the top of Tel Zur Natan, where remains of a Samaritan synagogue were found with another inscription, and reveals Adios’ high status,” she adds.
Click here to read more.