Ira Block, © National Geographic Society

Role reversal. Sepphoris, the great urban center of Galilee in the first century A.D., today stands as a green hillock in the distance, while Nazareth, a small backwater in Jesus’ time, now displays the profusion of buildings seen in the foreground. Scholars and lay people alike have often regarded Jesus’s upbringing as provincial because of his boyhood in Nazareth, but the uncovering of first-century Sepphoris puts that background in a new perspective.