This is a real possible attraction because there are a lot of Christian pilgrims who are looking to see the real context of Jesus’s life,” said Yardenna Alexandre, the archaeologist directing the excavation.
The city itself, which according to pottery remains dates from 300 BC, was Hellenistic in origin and then built up by the Romans. Alexandre’s team also found a mikveh [place for ritual immersion] and stone vessels of a type used only by Jews concerned about maintaining purity. The latter, she said, suggested the site could also be linked to the priestly Elyashiv family, which fled from Judea to the Galilee after the destruction of the Second Temple.
She noted that scholars have been looking for the site of Cana for ages and that an American university is conducting excavations 10 kilometers [6.2 miles] north in the belief that that’s where the ancient city was located. But her site, she said, “has a lot more going for it.”
For one, it’s directly on the way from Nazareth to Tiberias, where Jesus would have traveled. The signs of Jewish life are also significant.
In its heyday, a few thousand people lived in the “large village,” according to Alexandre. The city lasted 700 years before the community fractured and residents moved to a new location during Byzantine times. That second city has continued to be used until the present day. The site was uncovered because a local Kafr Kanna resident wanted to build a house and first had to have the site examined by the Antiquities Authority.
Alexandre hypothesized that the community split took place among Jews and Judea Christians, but noted she had no hard proof for the theory. She added that she believes a synagogue exists but has yet to be unearthed. Elsewhere in the vicinity, ruins from as far back as the 10th century BC have been found.
But fellow archaeologist Shimon Gibson cast doubt on the connection between the finds at Kafr Kanna and ancient Cana. He said the vessels uncovered—the type used by Jesus in performing His miracle—are not rare and wouldn’t be sufficient evidence of a connection to Jesus.
The Cana wine miracle is particularly important to Christian theologians because it came at a crucial point in the early days of Jesus’s public ministry. His reputation was growing, He had just selected His disciples, and He was under growing pressure to demonstrate His divinity. By Hilary Leila Krieger, Jerusalem Post
Source: By Hilary Leila Krieger, Jerusalem Post
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