Susan Hopkins cleaning Synagogue wall paintings

YUAG, Dura-Europos Collection, negative number dura-fII26~01

Many of Dura’s sanctuaries feature wall paintings, including the Temple of Bel, the Mithraeum and the Christian building, and the synagogue’s extraordinary biblical scenes form part of that local tradition. The paintings were produced using tempera pigments on dry plaster (frescoes are created with wet plaster). Susan Hopkins’ work cleaning the paintings was one of her many contributions to the excavations as an unpaid team member deserving of significant recognition: her multiple responsibilities and accomplishments also included cataloguing objects and creating extremely detailed object registers invaluable today for reconstructing archaeological contexts. She was married to Clark Hopkins, who was promoted from assistant director to field director in the fifth season. Both had studied at the University of Wisconsin, where they first met Mikhail Rostovtzeff.