The museum at the Good Samaritan Inn archeological site by Ma’ale Adumim is the only mosaic museum in the country and one of only three in the world. Mosaics and other artifacts unearthed in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are on display at the museum. Some of the mosaics on display have been removed from various sites to protect them from harm, while others are reconstructions. Work on the mosaics, to prepare them for the public eye, has taken many years during which skilled professionals excavated the mosaics, preserved them and, where necessary, reconstructed them. During the preservation process, some mosaics were cast in natural materials such as lime, sand or cement as they would have been in ancient times.
The Good Samaritan Museum is situated half way between Jerusalem and Jericho, and is associated with the biblical Ma’ale Adumim which marked the border between the tribes of Judah and Benjamin (Joshua 16, 7; 18, 17). During the Byzantine era, the site was associated with the inn mentioned in the Parable of the Good Samaritan from the New Testament (Luke 10, 25-37). Members of three different religions appear in the parable: a Cohen, a Levi and a kind Samaritan. The design of the museum is based on the parable, as is the choice of mosaics.
Mosaics and other findings from Jewish synagogues, Samaritan synagogues and churches, are all on display at the museum. The mosaics are divided into two groups: one set of mosaics is displayed outdoors, while the other is displayed indoors. Among the artifacts is a mosaic from a synagogue in Gaza, now on display for the first time, as well as inscribed mosaics from Jewish synagogues. The inscriptions from the sacred site in Mount Gerizim can be dated back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries B.C. and make use of the adjectives “cohen” and “cohanim” as well as the lord’s name “Jehovah”. These findings indicate the existence of a Samaritan temple during that time. Also on display are partial mosaics from Samaritan synagogues describing the seven species and Torah arks, mosaics from the 4th and 6th centuries A.D. from the church in Shiloh, and more. In addition, other artifacts from the Byzantine era, such as a carved sermon table, a case for holy relics, an ornate baluster and a dining table, can also be seen on display. It is also worthwhile to take the time and appreciate the site itself, which has a history that can be traced back to the Second Temple and contains ancient cave dwellings, wells and a reconstructed Byzantine church.
Hours: Sun-Thu 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
For additional information: 972-2-5417555