By Tamara Zieve - July 8, 2018
Archaeologists have uncovered the entrance gate to the biblical city of Zer during excavations carried out in the Golan Heights over the past two weeks, the Golan Regional Council said Sunday.
In recent days, and after a year of recess, a group of 20 archaeologists from all over the world, together with director of the Bethsaida Project, Dr. Rami Arav, and under the auspices of the Hebrew Union College, Jerusalem, conducted new excavations in two different areas of Bethsaida. The ancient fishing village is mentioned several times in the New Testament as a city where Jesus lived and where he miraculously fed a multitude of people with five loaves and two fish.
Archaeologists said the size, wealth and impressive fortifications indicate that Zer was a major city.
“There are not many gates in this country from this period. Bethsaida was the name of the city during the Second Temple period, but during the First Temple period it was the city of Zer,” Arav said, pointing to Joshua 19:35, which says: “The fortified towns were Ziddim, Zer, Hammath, Rakkath, Kinnereth.”
Arav began carrying out excavations of et-Tell on behalf of the University of Nebraska nearly 30 years ago. In these excavations, he identified the ancient Bethsaida, and following his excavations and discoveries, masses of Christian pilgrims visited the site because of its great importance to Christianity.
Read More: The Jerusalem Post