Kursi Beach ExcavationKursi Beach Excavation

HISTORY

 

The excavation, led by Dr Haim Cohen of The University of Haifa, at Kursi Beach on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee is now famous for its spectacular Inscription, which was found in 2015, indicating that Area B is indeed an ancient public building. Since then, we have continued to dig in Area B, uncovering beautiful mosaic floors, stone walls, pillars, a grinding stone and the clear outline of a large building, right next to the shore.

 

When Dr Cohen first became interested in the site, he noticed that the landmark cliff above the harbour town of Migdal on the Western shore, and the ‘armchair’ made by the hills of Kursi were directly opposite each other, and formed a natural pass for goods and people going from one shore to the other and beyond into the hinterland. It seemed the natural place for a harbour town to be situated.

 

In addition to the above, Kursi Beach is the site (or close to the site) of Jesus’s miracle of the swine. According to the New Testament, he came ashore on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee near Gerassa or Gedara, and was approached by one or two (the text is unclear) demon-possessed individual (s), who had been terrorising a nearby town. They lived amongst the tombs and resisted all attempts to contain them. Jesus exorcised the demons, and cast them into a herd of swine, that then ran off a cliff and into the sea where they drowned. The swineherds ran to the village to tell the people what had happened to their pigs, and the villagers came to the shore to meet the stranger who had freed the demoniac (s). According to the text the freed men wanted to leave with Jesus on his boat, but Jesus told them to stay and tell others of what they had seen.

 

In 2016, Area C revealed a mysterious round structure that is the subject of much debate.

 

In the 2017 Season, we opened Area D or tel Kursi, that is now under excavation, managed by Iddo Katz.

 

As with any active archaeological dig, there is always speculation about original usage, but the finds to date have been exciting for students of Biblical Archaeology and shed light on life in the Jordan Valley thousands of years ago.

Kursi Beach Aerial

Dr Haim Cohen's summary of the 3rd Season

3D animation of Kursi Beach

The Kursi Inscription

The Miracle of the Swine at Kursi

2018 Season is now open

LINKS

Origins Discovery Project
Origins Discovery Project