Human bones, jewelry and pottery vessels were discovered during the course of the salvage excavations carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority in Kfar Nin.
The village of Nin is situated at the northern foot of Giv’at HaMoreh, on the southeastern side of the Jezreel Valley and approximately 2 kilometers east of the city of Afula. The village is identified with the ancient Hebrew settlement of Na’in. According to Christian tradition, this is the place where Jesus is said to have performed the miracle of the resurrection of the widow’s son. The miracle was eternalized by the construction of a church that was erected in the fifth century CE, which became a site that was frequented by pilgrims.
Within the framework of the numerous excavations and surveys that the Israel Antiquities Authority performed in Kfar Nin, ancient settlement remains were found from different periods, dating from the Bronze Age (5,000 years ago) until the modern era.
During the course of the excavations there, which were funded by the Antiquities Authority, the excavation director, archaeologist Fadi Abu Zaydan, exposed an ashlar built structure from the Early Roman period. The building, which consists of a number of rooms, is constructed atop foundations from the Hellenistic period (2,300 years ago) and is surmounted by a structure that was erected in the Turkish period.
The walls and floor of the building were covered with a thick layer of soot that was probably caused by a mighty conflagration that consumed the building’s wooden ceiling. The fire caused the ceiling and part of the walls to collapse into the building, thereby burying beneath them the occupants of the house.
Alongside the skeletons in the ruins of the house archaeologist Abu Zaydan found gold and silver jewelry and pottery vessels that had been used by its inhabitants. “As evidenced by the severe damage, the terrible destruction did not leave the occupants of the house a chance to be saved and we can only assume that this was some sort of act of war”.
Was this an earthquake that struck which caused the house to burn, was the building set ablaze intentionally or was it a pogrom that occurred during the first century which would indicate that these were Jewish residents – residents of the ancient village of Na’in – who were killed during the Great Revolt against Rome in 67 CE? For the time being the answers to these questions will remain a mystery until new finds are discovered that will shed some light on them in the future.
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