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Biblical-era town discovered in Israel

Biblical-era town: Archaeologists have discovered a town on the northwest coast of the Sea of Galilee dating back more than 2000 years. 

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After talking to the local people, and trying to identify the source and date of the findings, the researchers determined that many of the architectural remains came from the local area and likely were part of this newly discovered town. [Photos: Amazing Ruins of the Ancient World]

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These remains included a number of ancient column fragments, including examples of capitals (the top of columns) carved in a Corinthian style. "This settlement may have contained masonry buildings, some with mosaic floors and architectural stonework," Dark wrote in his paper.

The finds also included a pagan altar, made of light-gray limestone and used in religious rituals by those of a polytheistic faith, Dark said.

Is it Dalmanutha?

In the New Testament, Dalmanutha is mentioned only briefly in the Gospel of Mark.

The gospel says that after feeding 4,000 people by miraculously multiplying a few fish and loaves of bread, Jesus "got into the boat with his disciples and went to the region of Dalmanutha. The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. He sighed deeply and said, 'Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to it.'Then he left them, got back into the boat and crossed to the other side." (Mark 8:10-13, New International Version)

Dark isn't certain the newly discovered town is Dalmanutha, but there is evidence to support the idea. From the remains found, researchers can tell the newly discovered town would have been a sizable, thriving location in the first century A.D., and the name Dalmanutha has not been firmly linked to a known archaeological site.

It's likely that the newly found town's name is among the few place-names already identified by other researchers relating to the Ginosar valley shore, and one of those places is Dalmanutha, Dark said.

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