Israeli archaeologists found what remains of the first house found in Nazareth dating back to the time of Christ. It seemed to be the home of a “simple Jewish family” according to Yardena Alexandre, excavations director at the Israel Antiquities Authority. The discovery was made as builders dug up the courtyard of a former convent to make room for a new Christian center, just yards away from the Basilica.
The structure was originally discovered early this summer. However, as workers slowly chipped away it became apparent this month that the dwelling is from the era of Jesus. Alexandre says, “This may well have been a place that Jesus and his contemporaries were familiar with,” and the remains imply that Nazareth was an out-of-the-way village of just 50 houses, covering only about four acres of land.
Alexandre’s team found remains of a wall, a hideout, a courtyard and a water system that was probably used to collect water from the roof. it is not quite apparent how big the dwelling is.
Clay and chalk vessels were also found at the house, probably used by Galilean Jews of the time to ensure the purity of the food and the water kept in the vessels.
Newer, clear preserved ruins are being built above the dwelling and will become part of a new International Christian Center already constructed close to the site. Because space is limited in Nazareth archeologists will not be likely to further excavate in that area.