Today, 4 June 2009, the Museum of the Good Samaritan opened to the public. This is the only mosaic museum in Israel, displaying mosaics and other finds discovered in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
The site, located on the main road between Jerusalem and Jericho, is identified with the biblical Ma'ale Adumim, which was located at the junction between the lands of the tribes of Benjamin and of Judah (Josh. 15:7; 18:17). In the Byzantine period it was identified with the inn mentioned in the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25–37). This parable includes men of three different faiths: Jesus, the founder of Christianity, Jews, and a Samaritan who performs a merciful deed. Accordingly, the museum exhibits mosaics and artifacts from both Jewish and Samaritan synagogues, as well as from churches.
The mosaics are divided into two groups: those on open-air display and those inside the museum building. In addition, various artifacts from different places are on exhibit.
The museum is situated within the Inn of the Good Samaritan site, which includes Second Temple-period remains such as dwelling caves, cisterns from different periods, and the reconstructed Good Samaritan Byzantine church. These remains serve to underline the importance of the site for Christians through the ages.
The site was developed and restored by the Civil Administration's Staff Officer of Archeology and Antiquities and the Israel Antiquities Authority, financed by the Tourism Ministry with a total investment of 10 million shekel.
The Inn of the Good Samaritan is conveniently situated on the route frequently traveled by pilgrims and tourists traveling from Jerusalem to the holy sites in the Galilee. Other sites of particular interest to Christian tourists in the area include the baptism site of Qasr el Yahud on the Jordan river which is in the final stages of a major renovation program, and the archeological site of Qumran.
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