Since 2021, Museum of the Bible has been a sponsor of the archaeological excavations at el-Araj—the likely site of Bethsaida, home of the apostles Andrew, Peter, and Philip, and a major place in Jesus’s ministry. The excavation operates under the direction of Professor Mordechai Aviam of the Kinneret Institute for Galilean Archaeology at Kinneret College, Israel, and Professor R. Steven Notley of Nyack College, New York City. Though the site has only been excavated since 2016, the team has discovered several important artifacts from several historical periods and both Byzantine and Roman mosaics.
As work continues this fall, the team hopes to finish uncovering the remains of a Byzantine church located at the site and, hopefully, locate the church’s dedicatory inscription so that a certain identification can be made. You can learn more about this exciting, ongoing excavation in this article from Museum of the Bible Magazine.