Image: Zachary Wong
Archaeologists have announced the unearthing of strong evidence of the location of the lost Roman city of Julias; home of three apostles of Jesus: Peter, Andrew and Philip. The lost city believed to be Julias, was located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Archaeologists Discovered the City of Julia of Jesus’ Apostles
The ancient Roman city of Julias could have been unearthed on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee on a modern-day nature reserve, as Haaretz reported. Within a multi-layered excavation site of el-Araj in the Bethsaida Valley Nature Reserve was discovered an advanced Roman-style bathhouse, which indicates a city was there, instead of a fishing village as had been previously suggested, as archaeologist Mordechai Aviam of Kinneret College told Haaretz.
Two other possible candidates for the ancient Roman city Julias include nearby sites by the lake, Haaretz reports. However, the bathhouse and other Roman-era remains below the Byzantine ruins at el-Araj, make experts believe that this is the right place for the lost city where Jesus’ apostles lived.
Missing Church May have been Found too
As the archaeologists participating in the excavations stated, the newly found Roman layer contained pottery sherds from the 1st to the 3rd centuries BC, a mosaic, and the remains of the bathhouse already mentioned. Also, two coins were discovered, a bronze coin from the late 2nd century and a silver denarius depicting the Emperor Nero from the year 65-66 AD.
Interestingly, the excavators found walls with gilded glass tesserae for a mosaic, a clear sign of a wealthy and significant church at the time. As Haaretz reports, Willibald, the bishop of Eichstätt in Bavaria, visited the Holy Land in 725 AD, and in his itinerary, he describes his visit to a church at Bethsaida that was constructed over the house of Peter and Andrew. This makes archaeologists believe that during the ongoing excavations they may have unearthed enough evidence verifying the existence of that church.