JERUSALEM – Israeli archaeologists have discovered a 2,000-year-old stone factory in Galilee that produced vessels similar to the one Jesus used to turn water into wine according to the Gospel of John.
Excavations began after the site was discovered during construction work for a municipal sports center.
“The fact that Jews at this time used stone vessels for religious reasons is well attested in the Talmudic sources and in the New Testament as well,” Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Yardenna Alexandre said.
During the Roman period, vessels were made of ceramics: a material Jews considered impure and inappropriate for purification rituals because it is breakable, so they opted instead to use stone.
“It is possible that large stone containers of the type mentioned in the wedding at Cana of Galilee story may have been produced locally in (the) Galilee,” Alexandre said.
“Our excavations are highlighting the pivotal role of ritual purity observance – not only in Jerusalem, but in the far-off Galilee as well,” excavation director Yonatan Adler said.