KEY POINTS

  • The archeologist detailed his findings in his book
  • Two indications make the archeologist put forward what he believes is a compelling case
  • At present, the Sisters of Nazareth Convent is located near the Church of the Annunciation

After 14 years of fieldwork, an archeologist has unearthed a first-century home with excellent stonemasonry, claiming it must have been Jesus' childhood home, built by his adoptive father Joseph.

Ken Dark, a professor of archeology and history at Reading University in the U.K., found a structure underneath the Sisters of Nazareth Convent in Israel, a popular destination among tourists, after years of research and excavation at the site. He believes that it is the same home where Jesus grew up.

Dark and his team started excavations at the site in 2006. There are two findings that make Dark put forward what he believes is a compelling case. 

One is that Dark found the first-century courtyard house still well-preserved underneath the convent. The house was constructed strategically, as proven by how it was incorporated within a real cave. Its doors and windows remained intact as well. 

The house's structure revealed excellent craftsmanship, suggesting that the person who built it had a "structural understanding of rock." The skills evident from the rock structures could only be possessed by a "tekton" or the Greek description of Joseph's job, Dark explained.

Another finding that Dark said could support his claim is the Byzantine church that was also built over the courtyard house.  The church dates to the fifth or seventh century.  The grandeur of the church could suggest that the place was upheld with the utmost importance back in the days.    

Dark detailed these findings in his book "The Sisters of Nazareth Convent: A Roman-Period, Byzantine and Crusader Site in Central Nazareth."

Interestingly, at present, the Sisters of Nazareth Convent is located near the Church of the Annunciation. Many Christians believe that the church was the site where the angel Gabriel told Mary that she would conceive immaculately.  

Nevertheless, Dark clarified that he is not making a conclusive case with his claims just yet. More concrete evidence is needed at this point, he admitted.  

"You're not going to find an inscription saying this is the house of Jesus," Dark said in an interview with CBS News. 

"On the one hand, we can put forward a totally plausible case that this was Jesus' childhood home. But on the other hand, actually proving that is beyond the scope of the evidence. It's debatable whether it would ever be possible to prove that," he added.