This morning we toured the (hot, dry) ruins of Sepphoris near Nazareth. In Jesus’ time Sepphoris was a large city of about 40,000 people located near a major trade route connecting Egypt and Mesopotamia. It is close enough to Nazareth that Jesus’ father Joseph likely went there often to ply his trade as a master builder. Sepphorus had a Roman theater, and James won many points with our guide Iyad when he correctly identified the exit of a Roman theater as the vomitorium.
In the afternoon we visited the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation (pictured). The church is built over Mary’s Well, where in the Orthodox tradition the Angel Gabriel delivered his news to Mary as she drew water for her family. We also visited the Latin Church of the Annunciation built over the presumed site of Mary’s home. Our last big deal was to see the excavations beneath the Sisters of Nazareth Convent where we are lodging. These ruins included tombs that look very much like the tomb Jesus was buried in.
Most have recovered from jet lag.