West wall reconstructed in National Museum of Damascus

West wall of Synagogue reconstructed in National Museum of Damascus
www.BibleLandPictures / Alamy Stock Photo
According to the system of partage (division of finds), the paintings from the Mithraeum and the Christian building went to Yale, and those from the synagogue to the Damascus National Museum. Henry Pearson, the Yale architecture student who skillfully undertook the complicated task of removing them from the site, also helped to build the room at the Museum that serves as a reconstruction of the assembly hall, and to reinstall the paintings there in 1936. A group of the remarkable original painted ceiling tiles are visible in this photograph arranged along the benches on either side of the Torah niche. Since the synagogue’s discovery, limited access to the paintings and to high-quality color photographs has created challenges for scholars outside of Syria, who often rely unduly on Herbert Gute’s series of facsimile paintings at Yale, especially to assess colors.