It came to pass: Jesus's miracle sites were found

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The Independent Online

Israeli archaeologists have unveiled two sites in Jerusalem and Galilee where Jesus is said to have performed miracles: one where he gave sight to a blind beggar, the other where he turned water into wine at a wedding feast.

Israeli archaeologists have unveiled two sites in Jerusalem and Galilee where Jesus is said to have performed miracles: one where he gave sight to a blind beggar, the other where he turned water into wine at a wedding feast.

An excavation led by Professor Ronny Reich, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, claims to have uncovered the Pool of Siloam where, in the Gospel of St John (Chapter 9:6-7), Jesus is said to have given sight to a man who had been blind from birth.

The find is at the bottom of a steep valley below the southern wall of Herod's Temple which was destroyed by Roman legionaries in AD70. Under the rubble and detritus, Professor Reich found a water tunnel, stone steps and paving.Much has still to be excavated, but corner stones indicate that the pool covered 2,500 sq m.

According to scripture, when confronted with the blind man Jesus "spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said unto him, 'Go, wash in the pool of Siloam'. He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing."

A combination of the site's topography, Herodian-era coins found on the new site and the way the stones are dressed have convinced the archaeologists that this was where the miracle took place.

The other find unveiled yesterday was in the Arab village of Cana, near Nazareth, long thought to be the site of Jesus's first miracle described in John (Chapter 2:1-12) when Jesus turns water into wine at a wedding feast. Yardena Alexander, a London-born archaeologist who led the excavation, uncovered buildings, clay ovens and grinding stones, as well as a Jewish ritual bath. The dig also turned up fragments of stone vessels of a kind used by Jews in purification rituals.

Although there have been other claimants to the water-into-wine location, including an American excavation several miles to the north, Ms Alexander is convinced that this is the one."With all these," she concluded, "you don't need any more evidence."

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