Page last updated at 16:46 GMT, Monday, 21 December 2009

Jesus-era home found in Nazareth

Excavation in Nazareth with Church of the Annunciation behind, 21 December
About 900 sq ft (85 sq m) has been uncovered, but the home could be bigger

Archaeologists in Israel say they have uncovered the remains of the first dwelling in Nazareth believed to date back to the time of Jesus Christ.

The discovery sheds light on how people lived 2,000 years ago, when Christians believe Jesus was growing up there, Israel's Antiquities Authority said.

A spokeswoman said Jesus and his childhood friends likely knew the home.

It was found near the place where angel Gabriel is believed to have told Mary that she would give birth to Jesus.

The archaeologists found the remains of a wall, a hideout, and a cistern for collecting rain water.

"The building that we found is small and modest and it is most likely typical of the dwellings in Nazareth in that period," said Yardenna Alexandre of the Antiquities Authority, who directed the dig.

She said the 1st Century home, near the present-day Church of the Annunciation, is believed to have housed a "simple Jewish family" in two rooms and courtyard.

She described Nazareth, now Israel's largest Arab city with a population of 65,000 people, as a "small hamlet" during the time of Jesus.

The discovery was made when builders dug up the courtyard of a former convent to make room for a new Christian centre.

The dwelling will now become a part of the new centre, which is being built by the French Roman Catholic group, Chemin Neuf.

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Boston Globe Ruins may be from era of Jesus - 21 hrs ago
The Scotsman First home from time of Jesus unearthed in Nazareth - 34 hrs ago
Japan Today First Jesus-era house discovered in Nazareth - 34 hrs ago
NPR Archaeologists: Jesus-Era House Found In Nazareth - 38 hrs ago
CNEWS Nazareth dwelling from time of Christ found - 40 hrs ago

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