This past January we had a chance to be a resource person on a TutkuTours.com tour to Israel. I thought I would share a few pictures of some items that I found interesting.
Chorazin — The rebuilding of the synagogue continues and an ongoing excavation is taking place in one of the residential sections of the town.
While we were at Chorazin Achia Cohen-Tavor shared with our group some of the results of his recent excavation. Above is a dish from the Byzantine Period that has a Chi-Rho symbol on it.
El-Araj (Bethsaida) We also had a chance to explore the site of el-Araj — Bethsaida of the New Testament. We were particularly interested to see how the excavations of the Byzantine Church that have been described in recent news releases were progressing
View looking east at the recently excavated remains of a Byzantine Church that the excavators believe was part of a monastic complex—possibly “The Church of the Apostles” that was visited by Willibald in A.D. 725.
One of the mosaic inscriptions found at the church says “. . . chief and commander of the heavenly apostles” which the excavators believe is a petition addressed to Saint Peter.
In the center of the image, the semi-circular apse of the church is visible. The floor of the church is covered with plastic. The “mounds” that you see in the picture are sandbags covered with dirt that are holding the plastic in place. (picture January 2023)
For links regarding the excavation see the article Digging In: El-Araj in the online article in Bible History Daily.
For brief reports on the seasons of excavations see Here.
Although this is somewhat “old news,” it was good to see that the level of the Sea of Galilee is much higher than what it was duriing the drought years.