One of the sites on the banks of the Sea of Galilee near where some believe Jesus miraculously fed the 5,000 as described in all four Gospels has been flooded by heavy rains that have forced archeologists to abandon their excavation.
Kinneret College professor Moti Aviam, a lead archaeologist at the excavation site that researchers are trying to prove is where the ancient fishing village of Bethsaida once stood, told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz about the extent of the flooding at the site.
He recently returned to the site following record-breaking rainfall in northern Israel in recent months after coronavirus restrictions were lifted.
“Obviously I knew the Kinneret [Sea of Galilee] had risen, but I didn’t know how its rise would affect the excavation,” Aviam said. “I don’t remember a thing like this in the last 30 years, though I don’t schlep over every year to check it.”
“Even if it rains in April and May [and it did], by July or August the site dries out,” he added. “But it never occurred to me that the lagoon would encompass the whole site of el-Araj.”
The excavation site is located in the historic coastal village of El-Araj.
Collaborating with Kinneret College on the excavation is the Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins R. Steven Notley of Nyack College in New York, as well as student volunteers.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith