Area 2

Insula 2 was developed between the synagogue and the octagonal church, in a residential area bordered on its western side by the main street and to the south and north by two smaller roads. Between the Roman and late Roman-Byzantine periods it underwent various transformations involving the opening and closing of various areas, renewing the flooring and raising the thresholds of the houses.

There were three distinct larger nuclei of residences and one of smaller size. The majority of the houses had a single protected access opening onto a public street; in some cases the door jambs have been preserved bearing traces of the fixations for the swinging doors. A number of the houses were reached through a back alleyway.

Life revolved around the open-air courtyards shaded by canopies and foliage supported on columns and beams, necessary for protection in the hot and muggy days typical of the humid lake environment. The courtyards served to connect the various rooms and allowed access via stairs to the roofs and terraces. Bread was baked in the courtyards in simple open-air fire-clay ovens, which were cylindrical in form with a large opening in the front. A horizontal series of small windows, whose frames consisted of individual basalt slabs placed on top of a counter approximately a meter above the ground, opened along the walls of the rooms facing the courtyard. The long and narrow areas that could easily have been covered by a roof were likely the most suitable places for stretching out the sleeping mats.

Millstones for grinding grain as well as mortars and pots made from basalt have been found in a number of areas within the insula. In the northwest residence (64-65), along with small millstones for grinding grain for domestic use made from two overlapping slabs, a large rotating bell-shaped millstone has been found that was probably powered by human force.

During the Arab era this part of the village continued to be inhabited. In the walls of the Arab houses many materials from old abandoned structures were reutilized, including white stones from the synagogue and thresholds from older houses that had been re-positioned after the floors had been raised. A number of basalt millstones were also used as construction materials, both as foundations for roads and as bases for columns.

Area 2