One of the great things about living in Israel is the history. Archeology plays a big role here in this land particularly, where man has lived for thousands of years.
An exciting discovery was made recently when ruins of a Roman temple from the second century AD have were unearthed in a place called Zippori. This is of interest to us because this may have been the %u218big city%u219 where Joseph may have worked his trade of carpentry from the nearby village of Nazareth. This idea implies that Jesus may have worked along side his father there as a boy.
Lets talk about what they found. Above the temple are foundations of a church from the Byzantine period. This then may indicated that Zippori, the Jewish capital of the Galilee during the Roman period, had a significant pagan population which built a temple in the heart of the city center. The central location of the temple, which is positioned within a walled courtyard, and its architectural relation to the surrounding buildings, help us understand the planning of Zippori in the Roman era. The temple, measuring approximately 24 by 12 yards, was built with a decorated fa%uFFDade facing the main street outside.
The building of the church on the foundation of the temple may say a few things. It may testify to the preservation of the sacred section of the city over time. It also could be a demonstration of the new religious movement (Christianity) %u21Cdefeating%u21D the pagan Gods.
But this new finding demonstrates not only the religious life, culture and society in Roman and Byzantine Zippori, but also that this was a city in which Jews, pagans and later Christians lived together and developed their hometown with various buildings.
What kind of gods were worshiped there? They do not know as yet, however but some coins dating from the time of Antoninus Pius, minted in Zippori, depict a temple to the Roman gods Zeus and Tyche.
These types of discoveries really thrill me %u213 and it%u219s a part of the reason why I enjoy living here in the Holy Land!
Now as part of modern history – have a great time checking out the Pulse Festival (www.pulsefm.com) this weekend!