The lost Roman city of Julias, home to three Apostles of Jesus Christ, has been found in Israel, a team of archaeologists has claimed.
Peter, Andrew and Philip are believed to have resided in the lost city of Julias, which may have existed on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, Haaretz reports.
It was Jewish historian Josephus Flavius (37-100 AD) who first indicated the existence of the city of Julias, which he said had been built on or near the fishing village of Bethsaida, by King Philip, the son of the biblical King Herod.
He created the Roman city and called it Julias after Julia Augusta, mother of Roman Emperor Tiberius.
Archaeologist Dr Mordechai Aviam, of Kinneret College, told Haaretz: “Josephus reported that the king had upgraded Bethsaida from a village into a polis, a proper city.
“He didn’t say it had been built on or beside or underneath it. And indeed, all this time, we have not known where it was. But the bathhouse attests to the existence of urban culture.
“Our main surprise was that at the bottom of the excavation, in a small area, a wall of a building was discovered, and next to it was a mosaic floor and artefacts that characterise a bathhouse.”
The mosaic wall is an indication that a church once stood there. A bishop of Bavaria, who visited Israel in 725 AD, spoke of visiting a church at Bethsaida that was built over the house of Peter and Andrew.
Another reason Julias is likely to be located at the site, called el-Araj, has to do with an error about the level of the Sea of Galilee. Calculations made near the site assume the level of the lake was 209 metres below sea level during the period that the city was thriving. However, this would mean the el-Araj site was under water until the Byzantine period, which cannot be the case.
Researchers found the Roman layer to be 211 metres below sea level, which would make sense if a city existed in the area at the time.
There are two other possible locations, though this latest discovery at the el-Araj site adds credence to the belief that they have finally found the ancient city.
Taken from the Independent.