Incense and the Liturgy

Incense was used in the rites of all of the religions of the antique Beth Shean.  Its perfume was thought to indicate grace and holiness.  To Jews and Christians, the fragrance incense emitted recalled the scent of the sacrifices that took place in the days of the Temple.  Incense was burned in censers, several of which have survived at Beth Shean.  The coals could be handled with an incense shovel.  Two such objects were found at Beth Shean.  Incense was such an emblematic symbol of religious practice at Beth Shean that incense shovels are prominently displayed on the mosaic pavement of the Samaritan Synagogue.