Archaeologists excavating a Byzantine-period structure in Biblical Bethsaida believe they have found new evidence proving the ancient ruins are of the long-lost Church of the Apostles.
The team unearthed a stunning mosaic flooring made of tiny yellow, red and orange tiles that bear two inscriptions written in ancient Greek.
The flooring, dating back 1,500 years, mentions a deacon and a building project, along with a half medallion and words of the bishop, according to a press release.
Much of the text is missing, but DailyMail.com translated part of the ancient language to read: ‘In the years [or times] of our master, his holiness our bishop.’
Not only could the find prove the existence of the legendary church, but it would lead the team to the location of the home of Jesus’ famed apostles, Peter and Andrew – as the Church of the Apostles was said to have been built atop their residence.
Excavations were led by Steven Notley of Nyack College and Mordechai Aviam of Kinneret Academic College of the Galilee, who have been working at the site since 2016.
In 2019, the team announced the discovery of remains they said belonged to the Church of the Apostles.
The Byzantine church was found near remnants of a Roman-era settlement, matching the location of Bethsaida as described by the first century AD Roman historian Flavius Josephus, Aviam said.
While mentions of the church can be found in Christian text dating as far back as the year 725 A.D., there has been no confirmation of its existence, leading some to doubt whether it was ever real.
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Source: Daily Mail