The first archaeological digs at Zippori were conducted in the summer of 1930, under the direction of Leroy Watermann of the University of Michigan. This American team excavated two areas on the hill (acropolis), discovering a theater in its northeastern part. In 1985 two teams resumed excavations at the site - one from the University of South Florida and the other a joint expedition from Duke University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In the first years, both teams concentrated primarily on the acropolis.
Most of the archaeological work done at the site since 1990 was conducted by the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. This team worked both on the Upper Hill as well as in an area to the east. Since 1992 the scope of the excavations has been broadened. Zippori was slated as a national project funded by the Ministry of Tourism for the purpose of employing new immigrants and developing a tourist site.
From 1990 to 1994 the archaeological work was headed jointly by Dr. Ze'ev Weiss, and Prof. Ehud Netzer, both from the Hebrew University. Since 1995 the project has been directed by Dr. Ze'ev Weiss.
In previous years the Hebrew University revealed a well planned city
built around an impressive network of streets. Various buildings, public
as well as private, were built in the city which existed throughout the
Byzantine period. Among the public buildings uncovered so far at the
site are a basilical hall, bath houses, a theatre, two churches, and a
Over 40 mosaics dated from the 3rd to 5th centuries CE have been uncovered to date in Zippori, in both public and private buildings.
The mosaics include numerous rich and varied iconographic depictions,
ranking the city among the most important mosaic centers of the Roman and Byzantine east.
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