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Archaeologists claim they may have found the lost Roman city of Julias, which was home to three Apostles of Jesus Christ, in Israel, Fox News reports.
Apostles Peter, Andrew and Phillip are believed to have resided in the in lost city, formerly known as the village of Bethsaida.
A team of archaeologists from the Kinneret Institute for Galilean Archaeology and Israel and Nyack College in New York made the discovery last month after completing excavations at el-Araj, a site located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee.
“The results of this season’s excavation indicate that el-Araj should now be considered a leading candidate for the lost city of Jesus’ Apostles,” the excavation team told Fox News.
“There are indications that we’re excavating Bethsaida-Julia – we have to continue digging to confirm and clarify,” the dig’s academic director, Prof. Steven Notley of Nyack College, told the outlet. “This is really one of the few [biblical sites] that has remained lost.”
Jewish historian Josephus Flavius was the first to indicate the existence of the Roman city during the first century A.D., which he said had been built on or near the Jewish fishing village of Bethsaida.
King Phillip, the son of the biblical Herod the Great, allegedly built the city and named it Julias, after the mother of Roman Emperor Tiberius, Julia Augusta.
According to John 1:44 in the New Testament, Bethsaida was home to all three of the apostles. Luke 9:10-17 described the location where Jesus fed five thousand people with only five loaves of bread and two fish, and Mark 8:22-26 reads it was the location Jesus also healed a blind man.
Other archaeologists have been looking to disprove that the site is the location of Bethsaida.
Notley told the outlet that excavations will pick up again in June 2018. “We’re looking right now at trying to do another five seasons.”
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