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Bethsaida Excavations Twenty years of Excavating Bethsaida A forgotten Biblical Kingdom of Geshur Bethsaida is located at the North-East of the Sea of Galilee It was identified by E. Robinson in 1838

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Bethsaida Excavations

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Bethsaida Excavations

Twenty years of Excavating Bethsaida


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  • A forgotten Biblical Kingdom of Geshur

  • Bethsaida is located at the North-East of the Sea of Galilee

  • It was identified by E. Robinson in 1838

  • Since 1987 it is being excavated and since 1991 by the Consortium for the Excavations of Bethsaida headed by the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

  • Its location, size (20 acres), strength suggests that it was the capital of the Kingdom of Geshur

GESHUR

BETHSAIDA


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DAMASCUS

TYRE

BETHSAIDA

SAMARIA

RABBAT AMMON

JERUSALEM

Capital Cities in Southern Levant

DIBON


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DAMASCUS

THE KINGODM OF GESHUR

BETHSAIDA


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Road

City gate

Palace


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Upper city

Lower City


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Stratum 6, mid 10th to mid 9th centuries BCE

Granary

Palace

City Gate

N


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A Section at the Outer City Gate, strata 5, 6


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The Façade of the outer city gate


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The King of Assyria Shalmaneser III visited Bethsaida twice, in 842 and 838 BCE


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Palace

Four chamber city gate

Served as granary

Storage

City gate

N


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Southern Tower

Bastion

Inner city gate

Chamber

2

Chamber

1


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A Section showing the city walls


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Four Chamber City Gates


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City Wall debris

Paved Road

Outer City Walls


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Inner City Gate reconstructed with wood beams


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THE DECORATED

STELE AS WAS LEFT

AT 732 B.C.E.

BASIN

NOTICE THESE STONES


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The moon-god from Bethsaida


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The Stepped High Place


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A Direct Access High Place


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Sacrificial High Place

A pit filled up with

Sacrificial left over.

All animals were Kosher

Animals


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Chamber4

To the name of

The Moon God Symbol


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The Siege of Bethsaida 732 BCE


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A Revival in the Hellenistic Period

  • In the 3rd BCE Bethsaida was resettled as a colony of Tyrians.

  • The Bethsaida inhabitants provided Tyre with linen garments.

  • They made “good living” and were able to purchase their wine from the Island of Rhodes which was considered to be the best wine in the market.


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Hellenistic weaving set from Bethsaida


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Gold Earrings – a sign of wealth


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Bethsaida in the Hellenistic Period

  • In about 100 BCE Bethsaida was conquered by the Hasmoneans.

  • The town declined.


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Bethsaida in the Roman Period

  • Bethsaida was resettled by the Herod as these coins demonstrate.

  • Herod populated Bethsaida with Jews as these fragments of a limestone vessel indicates

  • The site thrived once more


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Bethsaida under Philip the son of Herod

  • In 30 CE Bethsaida was elevated to a status of a “Polis” – Greek city

  • This coins was minted by Philip in commemoration of this act.

  • Philip renamed Bethsaida Julias after Augustus’ wife, Livia, Julia


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The Temple for Julia/Livia

  • Philip built a temple for the Roman Imperial cult and dedicated it to Julia/Livia


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Decorated Stone from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem


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Favisa, Sacred Deposits near the Temple


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Utensils from the Temple

Simpulum

Strigilis


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A Roman Temple

Residential Quarter

City wall

Cemetery

N


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Houses next to the city

wall

Bethsaida as Jesus saw it

a lane

The “Clinic”

A lane

Dining room

(Triclinium)

Remnants of a

Private house

Open courtyard

Kitchen

Wine cellar

The “Wine Maker” House


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The “wine maker’s House”


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The “Wine Maker’s House”


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Fishing Gear


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Limestone Vessels a hallmark of Jewish presence


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Private Homes at Bethsaida


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A Gem Stone


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A group of Roman NailsLeft by a Carpenter


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Digging west of the gate


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A Hellenistic Juglet


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A Roman Bronze Bowl (Patera) from the Temple Area


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A Decorative Nail from perhaps from the door of the temple


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Breakfast


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Some of our attentive students


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Tension is built up


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THANK YOU


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