(Photo: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
An over 2,000 year-old town dating back to Biblical times was found off of the northwest coast of the Sea of Galilee in the Ginosar valley in Israel.
It may be a town that was described in the Gospel of Mark named Dalmanutha. In the story, this is where Jesus went after feeding 4,000 people by multiplying the fish and loaves of bread. It is also believed to be this town because there are no other archaeological links or findings to suggest it was anywhere else.
Dalmanutha is only directly mentioned once in the Bible, and it is in the verse following the loaves and fish story.
"[Jesus] got into the boat with his disciples and went to the region of Dalmanutha. The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. He sighed deeply and said, 'Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to it.' Then he left them, got back into the boat and crossed to the other side." (Mark 8:10-13, New International Version)
The archaeological team, led by Ken Dark, also believe a boat that was found in 1986 on the shoreline, belongs in the same timeframe of the town.
"Vessel glass and amphora hint at wealth," Dark wrote in an article for the Palestine Exploration Quarterly, believing the town was very wealthy in its day. "...weights and stone anchors, along with the access to beaches suitable for landing boats - and, of course, the first-century boat … all imply an involvement with fishing."
Dark and his team believe the remains found suggests Jews and people following a polytheistic religion lived together in the town.
Evidence and remains from the site indicate the town was successful for perhaps a few centuries after Jesus and up until at least the Byzantine Empire according to Scientific American.
Dalmanutha is also only about 500 feet away from another ancient town, Magdala. The distance between the two towns were filled with ancient pottery, and even a pagan alter was found.
"This settlement may have contained masonry buildings, some with mosaic floors and architectural stonework.", Dark wrote in his paper.