It’s a site for sore eyes.
An ancient church, believed by experts to be the site of a biblical “miracle,” has been excavated in Israel’s Golan Heights by the University of Haifa.
“We suggest that the church revealed by us might have been this church that was related to the miracle,” said Professor Adi Erlich, referencing a biblical story, in which Jesus stops the bleeding of a woman who had been suffering for 12 years, as described in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.
The Christian miracle — in which where the woman touches the back of Jesus’ robes in a bid to get better — takes place while Jesus is on his way to the home of Jairus, whose own daughter was sick, in the Roman city of Caesarea Philippi, previously called Banias. According to the biblical text, when the sick woman touched Jesus’ garments “immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.”
The region is now part of the Banias Nature Reserve in northern Israel where Erlich and her team of archaeologists have been piecing together ancient history.
The team of researchers had previously established that a nearby temple from the fourth century was possibly where Jesus revealed himself as the Messiah to his disciple Peter. The site was built atop a Roman-era shrine to the Greek god Pan from the third century.
Another clue that the dig revealed: a small souvenir-like stone with crosses carved into it. Erlich theorized that the stone was left by religious pilgrims around the year 400 at the site — suggesting it was a memorial to the miracle and not an active temple at the time.
The possibly holy locale features springs, caves and a ritual “cultic pool and a water aqueduct,” according to the academic.
“Once conservation is over, everybody is welcome to come and visit,” said Erlich.