This trench was overseen by Wouroud Ibrahim of the DGAM and uncovered a series of small rooms that had been used for domestic purposes in the early C20th.
In 1986 during a particularly dry period along the northern shores of the Sea of Galilee, the Galilee Boat, also termed the Jesus Boat, was discovered lying in the newly exposed lake-bed. A major salvage operation soon began to uncover, protect and preserve the boat. It measures 8m in length and is over 2m wide and it once had a mast and a sail. The boat was made from a variety of different woods (10+) and radiocarbon analysis has dated the vessel to the 1st Century CE. It informs our understanding of fishing and transportation crafts that served the Sea of Galilee during this particularly early period. Did Jesus and His Disciples use a similar vessel?
During Christ’s teachings and miracles in and around the Sea of Galilee, He delivered a collection of teachings that is commonly termed the Sermon on the Mount. This has come to represent the most important piece of teachings from Him and includes the Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer. They were written in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapters 5-7. The mountainside on which it took place is known as Mount of the Beatitudes and was said to overlook the Sea of Galilee. Since the 4th Century, a mountainside just north-east of Tabgha has been venerated as the place of the Sermon and a church was built on the site. Very little of this original structure remains and it is difficult to gain access to. In the 20th Century, a new church was built near to the 4th Century church.
This church dates back to the C5th, but has been damaged and rebuilt many times over its history. Before the current civil war, it was last rebuilt in the 1990s having sustained damage in the 1982 offensive by the Syrian government against the Muslim Brotherhood in the city. Elements of the earliest structure do survive and it is particularly interesting for being a transverse-nave church, a type more usually found in the Tur Abdin region of Turkey.
Although Hama, then known as Epiphania, was an important Christian centre in late antiquity, more recently it had one of the smallest Christian communities in a major city. For that reason this entry is linked to nearby Homs, rather than treating Hama as a separate collection of data.
A short distance from the church of the Annunciation in Nazareth is the church of the Nutrition. It was given this name as its original Late Antique church was constructed over the home and workshop of Joseph and was the place where Christ spent much of his childhood. This church incorporated grottos, cisterns and a ritual bath or baptismal font. It was used in the Crusader period, prior to its destruction by fire in the thirteenth century. The Franciscans rebuilt the current church in the twentieth century.
In the mid-fourth century, a church was constructed around a grotto in the town of Nazareth that was said to be the Virgin Mary’s house and the place where the archangel Gabriel appeared to her during the Annunciation. This holy site was clearly well established as a place of worship towards the end of the fourth century as the pilgrim Egeria describes an altar within a grand and splendid grotto. The Piacenza pilgrim who journeyed to Nazareth in the late sixth century states that there is a basilica at the House of Mary that contains many garments that once belonged to the Virgin. Today, remnants of wall paintings, mosaics, and the architecture from this early church building are visible.
Tags: Annunciation, Architecture, C20th, C4th, C5th-C6th, Cave, Christ, Christian, Cross, Foliage, Fresco, Geometric Motif, Greek Inscription, Holy Site, Inscription, Israel, Mosaic, Nazareth, Pilgrimage, St. Gabriel, Staurogram, Virgin Mary
Mount Tabor is an isolated oval-shaped mountain in the Jezreel valley and is situated to the south-west of the Sea of Galilee. It is associated as the place of Christ’s Transfiguration before Peter, James and John in the presence of Elijah and Moses. Pilgrims who venerated the site in the fourth century describe three churches built on the summit of the mountain that were dedicated to Christ, Moses and Elijah. The mosaics photographed here are from this period. The Crusaders founded a Benedictine abbey on the site, remnants of which are visible today. The Franciscans built a new church in the twentieth century and the place of the Transfiguration is located in the crypt.
Tags: Architecture, Baptistery, C12th, C20th, C4th, Christ, Christian, Church, Cross, Geometric Motif, Holy Site, Israel, Jezreel Valley, Mosaic, Mount Tabor, Mountain, St. Elijah, St. James, St. John, St. Peter, Transfiguration
Situated on the north-western shoreline of the Sea of Galilee, a short distance from the church of the Multiplication, is a modern church built on the site Christ reinstated Peter as the head of the Apostles. Little of the original Late Antique church remains, thought its foundations have been incorporated into the new church. A projection of limestone rock lies at its eastern end, before the altar. This is believed to be the Mensa Christi (table of Christ) upon which Christ and the Disciples ate, following the miraculous catch.
Capernaum is an ancient fishing village situated on the northern shores of the Sea of Galilee. Within an insula of this village are a number of rooms that are traditionally associated with the house of Peter the Apostle. A simple, square room within this complex was given particular attention by the Christian community in the years immediately following his death. In the fourth century, this room became a Domus Ecclesia (a house church) and was the place for Christian prayer and gatherings. The numerous inscriptions on the painted plaster of this place suggest that it was a prominent centre of pilgrimage, even by this early period. In the fifth century, an octagonal church was built over the house church. It consisted of an inner octagon that was directly over the venerated room, a larger concentric octagon and an outer semi-octagon.
Tags: Architecture, Basalt, C1st-C2nd, C20th, C4th, C5th, Capernaum, Centrally-Planned, Christ, Christian, Church, Domus Ecclesia (house church), Galilee, Geometric Motif, Holy Site, Inscription, Israel, Mosaic, Octagonal, Pilgrimage, St. Peter, Wall
The place of the miracle of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes is located on the north-western shores of the Sea of Galilee. The first church constructed on the site was built in the mid-fourth century. It was small, its altar was formed from the rock upon which Christ laid the bread and fish and it was not oriented to the east. In the late-fifth Century, it was enlarged to accommodate the growing number of pilgrims who visited the site, it was given an eastern orientation and was laid with mosaics of flora and fauna. The modern church built on the site follows the plans of the later church.