Northern Israel Virtual Tours - Synagogue Excavations at Capernaum
Northern Israel Virtual Tours - Church MagdaleneAside from various references to Capernaum in the Gospels, the earliest literary attestation of Capernaum is from Josephus, who refers to the village in connection with a fertile spring. The Jewish historian reports he spent a night there with a fever during the second year of the Jewish War.
For centuries, Capernaum has traditionally been identified as a site located on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, about three miles west of the upper Jordan River. In 1838, Edward Robinson correctly identified there the remains of a synagogue that was partly excavated by Charles Wilson between 1865 and 1866. More extensive excavations took place in the early twentieth century, first by Heinrich Kohl and Carl Watzinger (1905) and then by Wendelin von Menden (1906–1915). In 1921, the synagogue was partially restored by Gaudenzio Orfali. In more recent times, Virgilio Corbo and Stanislao Loffreda conducted nineteen seasons at Capernaum between 1968 and 1986, excavating not only the synagogue, but also a nearby church that had long been associated with the house of St. Peter.
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