This summer, Magdala in cooperation with the Anahuac University of Mexico received over 70 academics, archeologists and volunteers from diverse universities and academic institutions on site with the purpose of supporting the conservation and restoration efforts of the Magdala Mikvaot area (Jewish ritual purification baths). Our archeological team was honored to work on this project with academics from notable universities like Harvard, Lund, Oslo and the UFV of Spain as well as with a young and energetic group from Highlands school in Barcelona. We are thankful to each of our partners in helping us with this project.
The conservation project consisted of raising the floors of the Mikvaot area of Magdala in order to recover foundational materials and with this be able to confirm construction dates of the structures, and also of when Magdala was inhabited. This floor was then put back in place using a material mix similar to that used 2000 years ago. The materials found beneath the original floors of Magdala have helped us to confirm that Galilean Jews did in fact build Magdala in the early first century.
Additionally to this work, a study on color by the Spanish archeometrist, Marisa Vázquez, was conducted with the purpose of understanding some of the details on production of decorative elements found on site, in particular the mosaics, frescoes and white stucco found in the walls of the site. We await the results of this study for the results over the coming months.
Lastly our archaeological team headed by the Mexican team of Dr. Marcela Zapata-Meza, Ms. Rosaura Sanz, and archeologist Andrea Garza, are in the preparation stages of their academic publication on the archaeological interpretation of the findings of Magdala. This is planned to be completed by the end of 2019 with the collaboration of noted academics like Dr. Luis Barba, Dr. Adolfo Roitman, Dr. Ruth Jackson, Dr. Anders Runesson, Dr, Emily MacClung de Tapia among others.
Our archeological team will conclude their work toward the end of September, and begin preparing on the analysis of this years findings as well as the preparation of next years archeological dig. Their work is highly valuable in helping us bring Magdala back to life and in helping us find out more about what life was like in the first century in this special place. Stay tuned to our updates!
Magdala Archeological Team