Work on the geological and geographic questions at Bethsaida began in 1992. John F. Shroder, Jr., and Michael Bishop, of the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Department of Geography and Geology, together with Moshe Inbar of the Department of Geography at Haifa University, led the investigations. The surveys at el-Araj have revealed that the sedimentation contains a mix of Hellenistic and Roman period finds, which were deposited there as a result of catastrophic flooding of the Jordan River following earthquake activity.
Our team includes geologists, geographers, hydrologists, archaeologists and historians. Geoarchaeologists have helped us grapple with processes that span thousands of years. Our work ranged from the very large—26 trenches cut by backhoes and a series of test boreholes dug from the bottom of the et-Tell mound to the Sea of Galilee—to the minute—carbon 14 tests on microorganisms. Our project has been the most extensive investigation ever of the north shore of the Sea of Galilee.