by Raphael Poch
In spite of Talmudic passage saying that the town of Kursia was Jewish, archaeologist had believed it was pagan.
Kursi National Park
Dr. Haim Cohen, chief archaeologist of the Kursi dig site, which is being excavated by a team from Haifa University’s archaeology department, spoke to Arutz Sheva about his recent finding that proves the historical accuracy of one of the Talmudic passages. According to Cohen, the find provides evidence for the historical accuracy of the claims that the area around the Eastern Kinneret had Jewish settlements during the time period of the Mishna and Talmud.
Cohen said that due to the recent find, they were able to prove that the village which is known in the Talmud as Kursia, can be identified with the modern archaeological site of Kursi. Cohen said that the town likely remained Jewish until the Arab Conquest of Israel in the 7th century.
Until know the leading theories believed that the area around the eastern section of the Kinneret was populated only with Pagan towns."In the world of archaeology, people believe that until you have facts in the ground, a theory is unproven. So here we have proof that this area had Jewish inhabitants. Something which was refuted before. It was believed that this entire area was pagan. But moreover, it confirms passages from the Talmud that claim that this town was a Jewish town," said Cohen.
The find was a 1,600 hundred year old marble slab, that has a reference to the name of the Talmudic town, as well as a blessing with the word Amen at the end of it, thus leading archaeologists to believe that it was indeed a Jewish settlement. The find was a made on Tuesday during Hanukkah.
The excavation was supervised by Prof. Michal Artzi of Haifa University and Dr. Haim Cohen in concert with the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.
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