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R. Steven Notley at an excavation site. He is holding a Roman-period coin up for the camera.

Has Bethsaida-Julias Finally Been Found?

The department of Religious Studies invites you to a presentation by Dr. R. Steven Notley (Nyack College, New York)

Jan 30, 2019

Monday, February 4, 2019


University Hall, Room 122

Since 1987 excavators at a Galilean site named et-Tell have attempted to identify it with the Bethsaida-Julias, a town mentioned in the New Testament Gospels. The El-Araj Excavation Project began in 2016 at an alternative site for Bethsaida-Julias. Several strata were identified during the first season from the Crusader and Byzantine periods. During the second season (2017) the Roman level was excavated, resulting in finds that included a silver denarius of Nero dated to 66 CE. Of greater significance, the remains of a Roman-period bathhouse with pieces of white and black mosaic floor are the first evidence of urbanization in the region, indicating that el-Araj should now be considered the leading candidate for Bethsaida-Julias. The presentation will consider the results from the first three seasons, and what may lie ahead.