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Legion of Christ to open archaeological park at Mary Magdalene's town

2014-06-04

Few miles away from Capernaum and before the Sea of Galilee the Legion of Christ recently opened the Magdala Center. This spiritual center will soon offer visitors a taste of biblical archaeology.

During the construction of the center, the remains of an ancient town of fishermen were discovered. It turned out to be Madgala, the city where Mary Madgalene was from.

DINA AVSHALOM-GORNI
Archaeologist
"Here we can find a full room, what we call an 'island.' It's built space surrounded by four streets. It's the only complex with its four streets: the one I am standing in right now, the east one, and there's the south street, the north one, as well as west street over there. Inside the living space, there are several spaces, each one was dedicated to different activities.”

Another archaeological discovery gave the Legion of Christ a good reason to build the Magdala center there. Three feet underground they found the remains of a synagogue of the 1st century.

ARFAN NAJAR
Excavation Chief
"The life for the synagogue is the middle. Here we found the stone that... here open the torah on this stone. The people set down around and talked with each other and read the torah in here.”

This stone is one of the treasures of the excavation. It kept the oldest menorah, the seven-arm Jewish lamp, found outside the Old City of Jerusalem.

All these discoveries will help better understand how life was in the 1st century. For the chief of the excavation works, a lot of questions are still unanswered. He is sure of one thing, though: Jesus visited Magdala. A great change overcame the way Jews looked at their synagogues, a change that took place between the year 20 and 30 A.D.


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