Left: swastika on Ein Gedi synagogue mosaic floor. Discovered 1965.
Right: swastika on Maoz Haim synagogue mosaic floor. Discovered 1974.

The swastika symbol has been used for over 3,000 years.
The word swastika is derived from the Sanskrit word svastika, composed of su- meaning "good, well" and asti "to be" – svasti thus means "well-being." The suffix -ka either forms a diminutive, or intensifies the verbal meaning, and svastika might thus be translated literally as "that which is associated with well-being," corresponding to "lucky charm" or "thing that is auspicious." ("The Swastika." Northvegr Foundation. Notes on the etymology and meaning of Swastika.)
There is archaeological evidence of swastika-shaped ornaments dating from the Neolithic period in Ancient India. It still occurs in modern India, sometimes as a geometrical motif and sometimes as a religious symbol. It remains widely used in Indian religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
As noted by Monier-Williams in his Sanskrit–English dictionary, according to Alexander Cunningham, its shape represents a monogram formed by interlacing of the letters of the auspicious words su-astí (svasti) written in Ashokan characters. (Monier Monier-Williams (1899). A Sanskrit–English Dictionary, s.v. svastika (p. 1283).)
Ashoka, as we noted in The archaeology of Alexander the Great: 2. Altars, is Diodotus I, who used the Zoroastrian fire altars taken by Alexander the Great (and used by him probably as boundary markers) to be inscribed with his Edicts.

350px DiodotusGoldCoin Archaeology of Ein Gedi

gold coin of Diodotus c. 250 BCE. The Greek inscription reads:

"(of) King Diodotus".


Ein Gedi

Ein Gedi is mentioned in many historical sources and the abundant finds from archeological excavations which have been conducted since the 1960s make it possible to trace the long history of this unique place.
Left: Arugot Stream, (Ein Gedi National Park) the Judean Desert, Israel.
In Second Book of Chronicles, it is identified with Asasonthamar (Cutting of the Pain), the city of the Amorrhean, smitten by Chedorlaomer in his war against the cities of the plain.
The Book of Joshua enumerates Ein Gedi among the cities of the Tribe of Judah in the desert Betharaba, but the Book of Ezekiel shows that it was also a fisherman's town.
And David went up from thence, and dwelt in the strongholds of Ein Gedi
- 1 Samuel 23:29

King David hides in the desert of Ein Gedi and King Saul seeks him "even upon the most craggy rocks, which are accessible only to wild goats".
It is in Ein Gedi that the Moabites and Ammonites gather in order to fight against Josaphat and to advance against Jerusalem "by the ascent named Sis".
The Song of Solomon speaks of the vineyards here:
My beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of Engedi.
- Song of Solomon 1:14
The indigenous Jewish town of Ein Gedi was an important source of balsam for the Greco-Roman world until its destruction by Byzantine emperor Justinian as part of his persecution of the Jews in his realm.
The Synagogue, a street, a Miqwe and a number of buildings are visible on the site. Some remains of the earlier Second Temple period settlement can also be identified.