A Biblical town that had a prominent role in the Gospel of Mark may have been discovered by British archeologists.
The town is believed to be Dalmanutha -- the place Jesus is said to have sailed to after he performed the miracle of feeding 5,000 with two fish and five loaves of bread at Bethsaida.
The town is mentioned by name in the Gospel of Mark, but it can also be attributed to a passage found in Matthew 15:39 that says, "And he sent away the multitude, and took ship, and came into the coasts of Magdala." According to The Huffington Post, Magdala "has been identified with some certainty as the modern-day town of Migdal" -- located off the coast near Israel's Ginosar Valley.
Research team leader Ken Dark says the area between Migdal and the coast is full of archeological discoveries. The team, which came upon the town during a regular field survey, believes that it is Dalmanutha due to artifacts uncovered there dating to the Common Era.
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“It is hard to imagine that a Roman-period coastal community of this size is nowhere mentioned in textual sources, and the site might be identified with one of the unlocated toponyms known from the Bible, perhaps the Dalmanutha of Mark 8:10," said Dark.
Speaking to Live Science, Dark added that many of the ancient finds hint at a prosperous town
that appears to have thrived for centuries -- considering pottery pieces found in the area date from the second or first century BCE to around fifth century CE. And limestone vessel fragments and tesserae cubes "associated with Jewish purity practices in the early Roman period" allow for the theory that the city contained a Jewish community and a polytheistic one.
The supposed site of Dalmanutha was the same location where scientists discovered a 2,000-year-old boat in 1986. Dark says this discovery coupled with "eights and stone anchors" and "the access to beaches suitable for landing boats" leads researchers to "imply" that the area was involved in fishing. They have not officially determined if the discovered town is Dalmanutha, but they noted that the town's size aligns with the identification.