A Biblical-era town – dating back 2,000 years to the time that Jesus walked the earth in the First Century – has been discovered on the northwest coast of the Sea of Galilee, reports Yahoo! News on Sept. 17.
The discovered town is thought to be Dalmanutha, an area to which Jesus retired by boat with his disciples after the miraculous feeding of 4,000 men near the Sea of Galilee.
The Gospel of Mark, Chapter 8, verses one through nine speak of "a big crowd" who "had nothing to eat." Jesus, feeling pity for the thousands who had stayed with him for days with no provisions "summoned the disciples and said to them, 'I feel pity for the crowd, because it is already three days that they have remained near me and they have nothing to eat; and if I should send them off to their homes fasting, they will give out on the road. Indeed, some of them are from far away.'"
Christ’s disciples, despite seeing Jesus on an earlier occasion perform a similar miracle, wondered where they could go to get provisions to feed so many. Jesus asked them in verse 5: "'How many loaves have you?' They said, 'seven.'"
Jesus prayed, and broke bread with them, and the result was that "all ate and were satisfied, and they took up surpluses of fragments, seven provision baskets full. Yet there were about four thousand men."
Verse 10 concludes with: "And immediately he boarded the boat with his disciples and came into the parts of Dal·ma·nu′tha."
Though various sites have been suggested for Dalmanutha, the name is not referred to in other Biblical or non-Biblical sources, so its exact location remains unknown. Some scholars feel Dalmanutha may be a scribal alteration, since the parallel narrative recorded at Matthew Chapter 15 substitutes the city “Magadan” as to where Jesus retired to after the miraculous feeding.
Possibly Dalmanutha was simply another name for Magadan, or it may have been a nearby area the name of which, though little used or not widely known, has nevertheless been preserved for us in Mark’s Gospel.
Findings at the site included a number of ancient column fragments, including examples of columns tops (capitals) carved in a Corinthian style.
Ken Dark, a professor at the University of Reading in the U.K., discovered the town during a field survey, whose team also discovered a 2,000 year old fishing vessel, consistent with the Biblical timeframe.
Dark spoke of “vessel glass and amphora that hint at wealth,” while “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 said the findings are consistent with what may be the city of Dalmanutha. “This settlement may have contained masonry buildings, some with mosaic floors and architectural stonework,” the archaeologist said.