Bethlehem of Galilee is located on the western fringes of the Jezreel Valley, on the southern border of the low chalk hills of Alonim-Shefar‘am, which rise about 120 m above sea level. An Arab village (Beit
The site is first mentioned in the description of the cities of the tribe of Zebulun (Jos. 19:19). In the third century it is referred to by Eusebius (as Bethleem of the tribe of Zabulon). During the period of the Mishnah and Talmud, Bethlehem of Galilee was called Beth
EXPLORATION AND EXCAVATIONS
V. Guérin, C. R. Conder, and H. H. Kitchener in 1880 describe Bethlehem of Galilee as a small village with decaying houses, but with two impressive ruins built of ashlar masonry. One, with an entrance facing south, was identified as a synagogue; and the other, facing east with four columns preserved in situ, was identified as a church. G. Dalman described the ruins of apparently the same synagogue and church in his survey of the village in 1921. Any trace of the synagogue has long since disappeared. He also investigated the cemetery, where he discovered a grave inscription in Greek: “The place of the burial of Marinos.”
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