Courtesy Bethsaida Excavations

An incense shovel, discovered near Bethsaida’s Roman era temple, is one of only 47 such shovels to have survived from antiquity. It was scattered among scores of objects—an oil lamp filler and ritual vessels—in pits near the temple. Such shovels were used in Roman temples but are also found in Byzantine era synagogue mosaics.

Thanks to the city’s recent rediscovery, we can expect more rare objects to come to light in excavation seasons to come.