Please note that this lecture has been CANCELLED.

Lecture, Prof. Rami ‘Three Decades of Excavations at Bethsaida’ 

Monday 23rd March,  6.00pm at the Institute of Archaeology

Bethsaida is the most frequently mentioned site in the Gospels, frequently mentioned by the ancient Jewish historian Josephus, Greco Roman authors and by the Rabbinical literature. It may have one reference in the Hebrew Bible under the name Tzer (or Tzed).

The identification of the site was not easy, due to the conflicting reports on its location in literature by Josephus and the Gospel of John.

As a result of a series of probes in the contenders of the city, Bethsaida has been appropriately identified and excavated. The excavations revealed that during the Iron Age (11th-8thcenturies BCE), Bethsaida, served as the capital of the Aramean kingdom of Geshur. Archaeological excavations unearthed a large city, the city gate, and a high place with two un-iconic steles flanking an iconic stele presenting the moon-god of Haran. In addition to this, the excavations discovered a granary, and a palace in the Neo-Hittite style known as Bit Hilani.

 Rami Arav, a professor of Religion at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, was born and raised in the Galilee to a family that settled there in the end of the 19th century.

Arav graduated Tel Aviv University with a BA and MA in archaeology. He received his PhD from New York University and wrote a dissertation on Hellenistic Palestine. He has excavated numerous sites in Israel and in the past 32 years  has directed the archaeological excavations at Bethsaida which he has written extensively about.

 

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