Biblical Archaeology Review 33:5, September/October 2007

BAR Exclusive! Major New Excavation Planned for Mary Magdalene’s Hometown

By Hershel Shanks

A major new excavation is being planned for the hometown of one of the most significant figures in the life of Jesus. Often referred to simply as the Magdalene, Mary Magdalene came from Magdala, an important fishing community on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee. The site is situated 4 miles north of Tiberias and 7 miles south of Capernaum, where Jesus himself spent much time and in whose synagogue he preached (Mark 1:21; Luke 4:31).

Today the site belongs to the Franciscan fathers and is not open to the public. It was partially excavated by Father Virgilio Corbo and Father Stanislao Loffreda in the 1970s. But not much has happened archaeologically since then. The excavation reports are all in Italian and little noticed.1

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