Student archaeologists are carrying out archaeological and architectural research at the Old Synagogue in Krakow under the auspices of the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków and the Institute of Archaeology of the Krakow’s Jagiellonian University.
Located in the heart of the old Jewish district Kazimierz, the Old Synagogue in its present architectural form was completed in the period 1557 – 1570 and was the work of the renaissance workshop of Mateo Gucci. For more than 50 years it has hosted a Jewish museum that is a branch of the Historical Museum.
Dr. Dariusz Niemiec, director of the excavations, tells JHE that the work, focused on the exterior courtyard of the Old Synagogue, is aimed at identifying the stratigraphic context of the oldest parts of the synagogue’s foundation, as well as to uncover possible objects and cultural layers in the closest surroundings of the synagogue.
One of the most important goals, he says, is to attempt to verity the theory that an earlier gothic synagogue existed there.
Photos provided by the Historical Museum show that find so far have included a number of pottery shards, some of the highly decorated.