Aerial view of 1,300-year-old church in the village of Kfar Kama, near Mount Tabor
Aerial view of 1,300-year-old church in the village of Kfar Kama, near Mount Tabor
Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority
Aerial view of 1,300-year-old church in the village of Kfar Kama, near Mount Tabor

Sixth century church unearthed near site of Jesus’ transfiguration

Israel Antiquities Authority salvage excavations ahead of construction of playground in Galilee village of Kfar Kama reveals hitherto unknown possible monastery

i24NEWS |
Published: 07.28.20 , 18:04
The remains of a large 1,300-year-old church were uncovered near Mount Tabor in northern Israel, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) revealed Tuesday.
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  • The location, adjacent to Mount Tabor, is sacred to Christians, who since the early Byzantine era have identified the area as the site of the New Testament account of the transfiguration of Jesus.
    Aerial view of 1,300-year-old church in the village of Kfar Kama, near Mount Tabor Aerial view of 1,300-year-old church in the village of Kfar Kama, near Mount Tabor
    Aerial view of 1,300-year-old church in the village of Kfar Kama, near Mount Tabor
    (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority)
    Mount Tabor is noted in the books of Mark, Matthew and Luke as the site where Jesus took his disciples Peter, James, and John when they witnessed the face and clothing of their teacher glow with dazzlingly bright light.
    IAA archaeologists and Prof. Moti Aviam of the Kinneret Academic College said they believe the compound was likely a monastery, raised just outside the ancient town of modern-day Kfar Kama in the Galilee.
    Head of the Greek Catholic Church, Youssef Matta, during his visit to the excavation site of 1,300-year-old church in the village of Kfar Kama, near Mount Tabor Head of the Greek Catholic Church, Youssef Matta, during his visit to the excavation site of 1,300-year-old church in the village of Kfar Kama, near Mount Tabor
    Head of the Greek Catholic Church, Youssef Matta, during his visit to the excavation site of 1,300-year-old church in the village of Kfar Kama, near Mount Tabor
    (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority)
    Archaeologist Nurit Feig of IAA described the church’s ornate mosaic floors, as “their colorful decoration stands out, incorporating geometric patterns, and blue, black, and red floral patterns.”
    She also noted a “special discovery” of a small reliquary - a stone box used to preserve sacred relics.
    Mosaic floor of 1,300-year-old church in the village of Kfar Kama, near Mount Tabor Mosaic floor of 1,300-year-old church in the village of Kfar Kama, near Mount Tabor
    Mosaic floor of 1,300-year-old church in the village of Kfar Kama, near Mount Tabor
    (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority)
    Dr. Shani Libbi said that there are additional rooms at the site yet to be excavated which is why “it is quite possible that this large complex was a monastery.”
    In 1876, when the Circassian Shapsug tribe first settled in Kfar Kama, they used the stones of the ancient village to build their houses.


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