July 22 - August 5, 2022

The Search for Bethsaida-Julias

The El-Araj Excavation Project is today considered the leading candidate for first-century Bethsaida-Julias. Excavations carried out over five seasons since 2016 have uncovered evidence of a settlement in the Roman period on the northern lakeshore. The most remarkable find from this period is a Roman bathhouse. This feature reflects the urbanization described by Josephus in Antiquities 18:28 when Herod Philip raised the status of Bethsaida from a village to a small polis and renamed it Julias. Jewish presence at the site is also indicated by stone vessels, which are a tell-tale sign of Jewish settlement, and knife-pared “Herodian” lamps that were only made in Jerusalem prior to 70 C.E.

In the last two seasons, excavators have unearthed the lost, legendary Church of the Apostles reported by Byzantine pilgrims who witness to the Christian tradition that the basilica was believed to have been built over the house of Peter and Andrew in Bethsaida. Excavations this summer will finish uncovering the Byzantine church floor and begin excavating surrounding houses from the first-century Roman era.



Geographic Location

Sea of Galilee, Northern Israel

Dates of the Dig

July 22 - August 5, 2022

Minimum Stay

2 Weeks

Application Due

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution

To be determined



$2995 for the season


Mordechai Aviam: Kinneret Academic College

Steven Notley: Nyack College.


Sunya Notley
Phone: +1 (845)-357-2090
[email protected]

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