Nazareth Village

Feb. 11, 2010

"Nazareth Village" is a ministry that has attempted to recreate a Galilean farm and village as it would have been at Jesus's Time. It is located very close to where Jesus grew up and is believed to be at the site of a working farm during the Early Roman Period (1st Century BC-AD). The village was recreated using a combination of excavation (such as the wine press), restoration on excavated sites (e.g. the home) and simply building a building similar to ruins found elsewhere (e.g. the synagogue).

The official Nazareth Village website of the village gives lots of information about the Archaeology of the site and the reconstruction process. The BiblePlaces site has information about and pictures of Nazareth itself.

The Magnify symbol beside some selected pictures indicates a larger image is available by clicking the symbol.

Terraces in Nazareth Village Magnify
Because of the hilly ground, it was common to terrace the ground to get some level ground to grow crops. This site had an irrigation system. Any surplus water on one level would flow down to the next level. Those are olive trees in the foreground.

Sheep in Nazareth Village
There were a few sheep in the pasture. Different animals may be present at special seasons of the year.

Wine press in Nazareth Village Watch tower in Nazareth Village
Left: This wine press was carved into the rock. Workers would stomp the grapes in the upper level and the juice would flow down into the lower reservoir to settle. They used their bare feet to avoid breaking the seeds in the grapes and spoiling the wine.
Above: It was common for farmers to build their own watch tower to protect their land and crops from undesirable animals and people. Jesus mentioned a watch tower in the parable of the tenants. The land owner built the watch tower in addition to a wall and wine press. (Matthew 21:33 and Mark 12:1.) Sometimes the watch tower included a storage room.
Well in Nazareth Village Magnify Nazareth Village
Left: This well was part of an irrigation system found on the ancient farm. That is our guide holding her red coat.
Above: This round grooved stone was designed to press olives including the pits (which also contain oil) into a mash for further processing.
Nazareth Village Magnify
Below left and right: The room where the olive mash was pressed to make olive oil.
Our guide explained that light pressing is used to make "extra virgin olive oil" which is very pure. More weight is added to press "virgin olive oil" but it contains some impurities. Then even more weight is added to get every bit of oil. This "olive oil' contains even more impurities and is not used for cooking.
Nazareth Village
Carpenter shop in Nazareth Village Magnify
This was the carpenter shop where some wood working tools
of the type that Joseph might have used were demonstrated.
Home in Nazareth Village
In a "typical" home, the women demonstrated making yarn.

This home was reconstructed on top of solid rock as explained in the Nazareth Village web site. It really illustrates the parable of the wise man building his house on a rock and the foolish man building on the sand especially when compares building on the rock to building on the shifting desert sand which was subject to flash flooding and windstorms. (See Matthew 7:24-28)

The website also discusses the importance of a cornerstone when building a house on a rock. (See I Peter 2:6 and elsewhere).

Synagogue in Nazareth Village Magnify Synagogue in Nazareth Village Magnify
Scroll in Nazareth Village

Above left and right: This is a recreation of a synagogue originally built elsewhere.

Left: This is a scroll sitting on a table in the synagogue.

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