Capernaum, the fishing village where Jesus gathered his first disciples, where he healed many people, where he lived after leaving Nazareth, where he preached in the synagogue, was identified and excavated in the 19th century. The many basalt oil presses and grinding stones indicate that it was a prosperous village on the border between the kingdoms of Galilee and Golan.

The 4th century reconstructed synagogue appears to rest on an earlier building. A number of residential compounds with rooms around an open courtyard have been exposed. A modern church is suspended over one such compound with the excavated remains of an octagonal Byzantine church, perhaps preserving the room used by Peter.

Text content copyrights: Bein Harim Ltd., Beryl Ratzer (

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Mount Meron

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