Hershel Shanks

TOWER OF FISH? The Hebrew name for Magdala is Migdol, which translates as “tower.” This extant tower at the site is a ready explanation for the name. On the other hand, Josephus records the name of the place as Taricheaea, which means “(salted) fish” in Greek and refers to the town’s main source of income. However, the discrepancy is apparently resolved in a Talmudic passage where the city is referred to as “Tower of Fishes.” Despite the name, this 20-foot-high tower probably didn’t hold fish inside its thick walls, but rather water that had been siphoned from nearby springs.