An archaeologist believes he has discovered the site of the ancient city of Cana, where Jesus’ performed his first miracle, the turning of water into wine, according to the Bible.
The Catholic website Aleteia reported the announcement by Tom McCollough in the Biblical Archaeology Review.
“While we know the wedding party took place in Cana, over the course of the last 2,000 years we’ve lost track of exactly where the town was located,” the report said. “There are several promising areas that researchers say could be Cana, but archaeologist Tom McCollough believes he has identified the most probable site of Jesus’ first miracle.”
The event included the miraculous production of six stone jars of the “finest” wine, which just moments before had contained water.
In McCullough’s study, he cites the location of Khirbet Cana, the “ruins of Cana.”
“Khirbet Cana is nine miles away from Nazareth. Excavations of the site, which began in 1998, led to the discoveries of a Roman-period synagogue, several (Jewish ritual baths), six Maccabean coins and an ostracon incised with Hebrew letters,” the report said.
The site was confirmed to have been a Jewish village about the time of A.D. 300.
Also found was “a large network of underground Christian worship tunnels” with crosses on the walls and the names of those who visited.
Investigators found in a cave what “may be an altar: A sarcophagus lid inscribed with Maltese-style crosses had been turned on its side to serve as a kind of altar, its top edge worn smooth, perhaps by pilgrims who placed their hands on it during prayer.”
Nearby were found stone vessels, as well as space for another four.
“The presence of six stone jars above an alter in a shrine underneath a possible location of the Wedding at Cana strongly suggests that the early Christians of the Byzantine era believed that this was the Cana from the Gospels,” the report said.
The report conceded the assumptions are just that, as “there have been no writings or relics found in the area identifying the name of the settlement.”