JERUSALEM, Israel -- A U.S.-led team of archaeologists from Israel and the United States have unearthed the ancient Galilean village of Shikhin, mentioned in the writings of historian Flavius Josephus as one of the earliest Jewish settlements in the area.
The team, led by Samford University Prof. James Riley Strange, Kentucky Christian University Prof. David Fiensy, and Prof. Mordechai Aviam of the Institute for Galilean Archaeology at Kinneret College, has been excavating the site for two years.
So far they've uncovered the remains of a synagogue, residences and evidence of extensive pottery production.
University students from Samford, Centre College, University of South Florida and Kinneret College make up the team of volunteers at Shikhim.
Prof. Aviam says their findings will help historians understand more about the ancient Israelites who lived in the lower Galilee during the early years of Christianity.
"Shikhin is one of the two earliest names that we have in the Second Temple period," Aviam said.
The village was abandoned around the mid-fourth century A.D.