JERUSALEM (JTA) — A home from the time of Jesus was discovered in Nazareth.
The Israel Antiquities Authority announced Monday that the remains of the home dating to the Early Roman period were uncovered recently during an archaeological excavation near the Church of the Annunciation. The church is built on the site where Christians believe the angel Gabriel told Mary that she would give birth to Jesus.
“The discovery is of the utmost importance since it reveals for the very first time a house from the Jewish village of Nazareth and thereby sheds light on the way of life at the time of Jesus," said Yardenna Alexandre, excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Alexandre said the building is small and modest, and most likely typical of the dwellings in Nazareth from that period.
"From the few written sources that there are, we know that in the first century CE Nazareth was a small Jewish village, located inside a valley," Alexandre said. "Until now a number of tombs from the time of Jesus were found in Nazareth. However, no settlement remains have been discovered that are attributed to this period.”
The excavation was undertaken before the construction of the International Marian Center of Nazareth by the Association Mary of Nazareth, next to the Church of the Annunciation.
The association intends to conserve and display the remains of the newly discovered house inside the building planned for the center.