Albatross/Duby Tal

Galilee’s most important harbor—from ancient times to today—lends its name to the sea in the Gospel of John, which describes Jesus’ post-Resurrection appearance beside “the Sea of Tiberias” (John 21:1).

The modern city is one of Israel’s most popular vacation spots. In the Arabic period, too, Tiberias proved to be a favorite watering hole. Massive columns once rose above the water to support an Arabic pleasure palace. The column drums lie in rows along an 80-foot stretch of shore.

But although these ruins have long been visible, until recently author Mendel Nun did not think they marked the location of Tiberias’s ancient harbor. During a drought in 1989 to 1991, however, Nun discovered hundreds of anchors, mooring stones and net sinkers on the shore, indicating that the harbor, usually completely underwater, was located here, south of the modern city (far right in this aerial photo).