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The plain of Ginnosor

The identification of the ruins of Talhum with ancient Capharnaum was not accepted unanimously by the topographers of the nineteenth century; in fact, several scholars identified Capharnaum with Kh. Minyeh, a ruin in the Ginnosar valley due S of Tell 'Oreimeh and 14 km from Tiberias.

Today, after the excavations of both Talhum and Kh. Minyeh, and after a better knowledge of literary sources, the identification of ancient Capharnaum with Talhum is no longer a matter of dispute. To start with, the ruins of Kh. Minyeh turned out to be simply an Omayyad castle, and no pre-Arab remains were found. To the contrary, the excavations of Talhum brought to light all the periods of occupation recorded by literary sources. Besides, the two public buildings of Talhum, i.e. the synagogue and the house of St. Peter, fit the descriptions of the pilgrims. Finally the ruins of Talhum exactly match the geographical setting of ancient Capharnaum; in fact, they are located two miles from Heptagegon-Tabgha (Theodosius), two miles from Korazin (Eusebius), and between Heptapegon and the upper Jordan river.

© copyright 2001. Text written by Fr. Stanislao Loffreda ofm. Reproduction, retrieval or redistribution of this material is not permitted without prior permission of the author reachable at the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum (sbfnet@netvision.net)

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