Archaeologists have found evidence of the existence of an ancient biblical city

(ORDO NEWS) — A mosaic about 1.5 thousand years old was discovered by archaeologists on the floor of the basilica during excavations in El-Araj.

On it are written the words of a prayer to the Apostle Peter. This find was another proof that the biblical city of Bethsaida was located here in ancient times, according to Haaretz.

Scientists found the mosaic under a layer of mud, because about 1.5 thousand years ago the biblical city was flooded by the tide.

Also, in the course of clearing the ancient city from a multi-year layer of silt, the researchers, in addition to the remains of a Byzantine basilica built in the 5th century, discovered the ruins of buildings from the period of Ancient Rome and the houses of the Jewish community.

From the moment the excavations began at El Araj, archaeologists have tried to find at least some records with the name of the city or with information that could indicate its name.

Now their dream has come true – on the wall of the basilica, a dedicatory inscription was found, typical of all Byzantine churches. She served as indirect evidence that the researchers are excavating the mysterious Bethsaida.

The inscription on the mosaic begins with the words “Konstantin, servant of Christ.” This was the name of the donor, and his name is recorded first in accordance with the Byzantine tradition of dedicating mosaics.

Archaeologists explain that this is not a reference to Constantine, the first Holy Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity. And then the donor asks “the head and commander of the heavenly apostles” for intercession.

“Leader and leader of the heavenly apostles” this is how the Byzantine Christians called Peter and only him, and not any other apostle,” note the participants in the excavations.

In fact, scholars have discovered an inscription framed by a round medallion of two rows of Byzantine-style black tesserae, almost clearly containing a prayer to St. Peter, in a 5th-century church in a Roman-Jewish city on the shores of the northern Sea of ​​Galilee.

All this can serve as irrefutable proof that the mysterious Bethsaida was located here. Researchers believe that this particular church is mentioned in a text written by the Bavarian bishop Willibald in 724 AD.

Willibald describes the pilgrimage to the church, saying: “From there they went to Bethsaida, the residence of Peter and Andrew, where there is now a church on the site of their house.”

In the next archaeological season, scientists hope to find another inscription dedicated to the Apostle Andrew in the church. Since it is assumed that he also lived in Bethsaida, the church was probably dedicated to both of them.


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