Israeli researchers announced Thursday the discovery of an extraordinary 1,500-year-old marble tablet at the Sea of Galilee engraved with religiously significant Aramaic words written in Hebrew letters, which suggests the place was once a Jewish or Jewish-Christian settlement.
The engraved, 59-inch-long tablet was found at Kursi where it is believed Jesus performed the “Miracle of the Swine,” healing a man of the “legion” of demons that had possessed him. On the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus drove the demons into a large herd of pigs, which then rushed off the steep bank and drowned, as told in the Gospel of Mark and elsewhere.
Because the water level of the Sea of Galilee has descended, researchers were able to examine previously submerged areas belonging to what they suggest was the 5th century A.D. Byzantine period Christian settlement. There they found what appeared to be an ancient harbor and the marble slab.
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In a statement Thursday, Haifa University said of the inscribed tablet, “Nothing prepared them for the extraordinary discovery.”
Two of the words identified so far are “amen” and “marmaria,” which scholars say could either refer to marble or to Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Read more: The Blaze