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Early Pilgrimage Site Marks “Swine Miracle”
Biblical Archaeology Review ^ | FR Post 1-13-3 | Judith Sudilovsky, Jerusalem

Posted on 01/13/2003 10:46:31 AM PST by vannrox

Bathhouse Uncovered at Kursi

Early Pilgrimage Site Marks “Swine Miracle”

Judith Sudilovsky, Jerusalem

Excavators at Kursi, on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, believe the site may have been the earliest pilgrimage destination for Christians visiting the Holy Land. They have also recently found evidence that Christian pilgrims were slaughtered there in 614 A.D. by the invading Persian army.

A team of archaeologists from the Jerusalem Center for Biblical Studies uncovered a late Roman- period (third-early fourth century) bathhouse complex near a previously excavated Byzantine monastery. Inside the 26-by-36 foot bathhouse were three dozen women’s rings and other pieces of jewelry.

“Why would there be a bathhouse in a monastery? Why women’s rings?” asked excavation co- director Charles Page. “The bathhouse was built for Western pilgrims and the jewelry belonged to them. This is the beginning of a center for Western Christian pilgrimage to the Holy Land. We believe it may have been the largest center other than the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.”

The fourth-century monastery at Kursi (Biblical Gergesa) marks the spot where Jesus is said to have performed his “miracle of the swine,” in which he drove the unclean spirits out of a raving man and into a nearby herd of swine. The presence of the bathhouse at Kursi suggests that there may have been an inn at the site run by the monks, who would have earned income for the monastery by accommodating pilgrims.

Though a typical Roman bathhouse contains four rooms, at Kursi only two rooms—a caldarium (hot bath) and a frigidarium (cold bath)—have been unearthed so far. If there were additional baths at Kursi, they would lie east of excavated structures. However, it is possible that the bathhouse had only two rooms because the monks who built it did not have enough money for a full bathhouse.

In addition to jewelry, archaeologists found coins, glass bottles (two of them intact) and oil lamps, including a rare seven-wick polycandalon lamp. They also discovered a cache of Persian weapons: spears, iron points for spears, arrowheads, a sword and a scythe that was probably used for beheading people.

Page and excavation codirector Vassilios Tzaferis believe the jewelry found at Kursi belonged to the seventh-century pilgrims who were killed by Persian invaders. “When the Persians came it seems they destroyed every church and monastery, and killed the Christians,” said Page. “The presence of all the jewelry suggests that men, women and children sought refuge from the Persians behind the walls of the monastery complex, but the Persians were so strong they broke through.”

Next season, the team plans to investigate rooms under a church on the northeast section of the property, which may be a necropolis. Page is also intrigued by a building entrance north of the bathhouse, discovered at the end of last year’s excavation. This entrance could lead to the inn that may have been at the site.

“Another good ten years’ worth of work lies ahead of us,” Page said.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Israel; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeology; bible; discovery; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; kursi; miracle; past; persian; pilgrimage; swine
An interesting read.
1 posted on 01/13/2003 10:46:31 AM PST by vannrox
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To: vannrox
The fourth-century monastery at Kursi (Biblical Gergesa) marks the spot where Jesus is said to have performed his “miracle of the swine,” in which he drove the unclean spirits out of a raving man and into a nearby herd of swine.

Jesus invented "deviled ham?"

2 posted on 01/13/2003 10:49:13 AM PST by N. Theknow
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To: vannrox
A good read and a some unbiased history of the religion o'peace...
3 posted on 01/13/2003 10:52:45 AM PST by 2banana
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To: N. Theknow
Jesus the miracle caterer(pretty good w/wine, bread & fish, too).
4 posted on 01/13/2003 11:06:30 AM PST by norraad
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To: 2banana
"A good read and a some unbiased history of the religion o'peace..."

Actually, this was just before Mohammed began his prophecies. The Persians at that time were mostly Zorastrians, I think. They warred back and forth with the Byzantines for a few centuries before Muslim armies swept both aside in the late 600's
5 posted on 01/13/2003 11:15:35 AM PST by Stirner
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To: 2banana
A good read and a some unbiased history of the religion o'peace...

As much as I'd like to we can't blame this one on the Moslems. The Persians wouldn't be subjegated by Islam for another 30 or 40 years.

6 posted on 01/13/2003 11:27:12 AM PST by skeeter
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To: vannrox
Inside the 26-by-36 foot bathhouse were three dozen women’s rings and other pieces of jewelry.

But no Bette Midler eight tracks

7 posted on 01/13/2003 11:34:22 AM PST by scouse
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To: vannrox
I have always wondered something.

Why were there pigs in Judea in the first place?
8 posted on 01/13/2003 11:40:58 AM PST by sharktrager
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To: sharktrager
"Why were there pigs in Judea?"

Their skins were used to make footballs.
9 posted on 01/13/2003 12:09:30 PM PST by Steve_Seattle
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To: N. Theknow
Jesus invented "deviled ham?"

ROFLOL, now I have to clean my monitor from the coffee I just spit up!

10 posted on 01/13/2003 12:30:18 PM PST by Rain-maker
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To: N. Theknow
Kinda looks that way, huh? (smile) Wonder if he also created "pickled pigs feet?"
11 posted on 01/13/2003 1:09:53 PM PST by Marysecretary
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To: sharktrager
I've always wondered that. Would the Romans be keeping pigs?
12 posted on 01/13/2003 4:12:20 PM PST by gd124
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To: sharktrager
Before the invention of Islam, ARABS ate and kept pigs.
After that, they stoned and killed any animal that the Koran called unclean.
13 posted on 01/13/2003 4:47:33 PM PST by Darksheare ("I see, a bad moon risin'.." "I've been mooned!")
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To: vannrox
Bump
14 posted on 01/13/2003 7:30:35 PM PST by Fiddlstix (Giant Clearance Sale: Used "Tag Lines". Buy One, Get One Free! Inquire Within)
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To: Darksheare
Before the invention of Islam, ARABS ate and kept pigs. After that, they stoned and killed any animal that the Koran called unclean.

Muslims and Jews share that same practice of no PORK/Pigs etc.

15 posted on 01/13/2003 9:17:25 PM PST by DreamWeaver
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To: DreamWeaver
Now, AFTER Mohammed.
PRIOR to Mohammed and his insane death cult, no.
16 posted on 01/15/2003 8:15:46 AM PST by Darksheare ("highly hopping hairballs hurting happy henchmen"-Sarah)
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To: DreamWeaver
To elaborate: Prior to Mohammed inventing Islam, Arabs ate and kept pigs. They had no laws against that.
After Mohammed and his insane death cult, they stoned any animals that their All-ha said should be killed.
(Dogs, cats, anything the Koran says is unclean.)

There is a fundamental difference between Jews and Muslims: Jews don't go around killing people randomly and saying that God told them to jihad the infidels. The Muslims do.
The arabs didn't start that until after Mohammed.
Allah was only a minor moon god until after Mohammed and his epileptic (supposed visions) fits in his cave with his goats.
17 posted on 01/15/2003 8:50:44 AM PST by Darksheare ("highly hopping hairballs hurting happy henchmen"-Sarah)
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To: Darksheare
There is a fundamental difference between Jews and Muslims: Jews don't go around killing people randomly and saying that God told them to jihad t

What in thtere are numerous scriptures of animals that God said NOT to eat and Pork/pigs is one of them, but I don't know why your going off on a different subject altogether. Sheesh !!

18 posted on 01/15/2003 11:58:23 AM PST by DreamWeaver
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To: DreamWeaver
ARABS didn't stop eating pork until Mohammed. (Well after 70 A.D., by the way.)
That's why.
You don't seem to understand that.
BIG difference there.
And to try to equate Islam with Judaism is a fallacy.

"Muslims and Jews share that same practice of no PORK/Pigs etc."
You're forgetting that Muslims didn't exist at the time of the "Swine miracle".
And I was answering a question as to why there were pigs on said hill in the first place.
They were tended by an arab boy.
ARAB, not Jew. No sane Jew worth his salt would go anywhere near a pig. But an arab from that time, pig was just another edible animal.

Does that clear it up, or are you still confused?
19 posted on 01/15/2003 12:07:41 PM PST by Darksheare (This space has been banned by the Americans Against Taglines.)
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To: Darksheare
No sane Jew worth his salt would go anywhere near a pig. But an arab from that time, pig was just another edible animal.

I guess us Gentiles/Christians are not sane and we are not worth our salt, because we DO eat Pork. To us too, it is just another edible animal.

20 posted on 01/15/2003 8:09:43 PM PST by DreamWeaver
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To: DreamWeaver
No, we weren't told not to eat pork.
The sanity is suspect though...
21 posted on 01/16/2003 3:23:21 PM PST by Darksheare (This space has been banned by the Americans Against Taglines.)
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To: Darksheare
No, we weren't told not to eat pork.

And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it [is] unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase.

Due 14:8

22 posted on 01/20/2003 6:53:43 AM PST by DreamWeaver
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To: DreamWeaver
AHH, but WHO specifically was told that?
Do you know that one?
What people were told that?
23 posted on 01/20/2003 7:17:41 AM PST by Darksheare (This tagline has been deleted by the Americans for Social Septicemia, "I got burning, in my soul!")
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To: DreamWeaver
Read Mark 7:17.
Also a warning, elsewhere: "Woe to you pharisees! You who burden a man down with things you yourselves cannot carry!"

The law was given to who?
And those who are not of that people are what, now?
Solve for X.
24 posted on 01/20/2003 7:26:17 AM PST by Darksheare (This tagline has been deleted by the Americans for Social Septicemia, "I got burning, in my soul!")
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