LIVING WELL IN GALILEE. Recent surveys and excavations of rural Galilee reveal that villages and towns continued to expand in the first century A.D., as indicated by a rise in the area and number of settlements. Although poverty was a fact of life for some in this period, the region in general was thriving economically. This can be seen especially at Yodfat, where the Roman destruction sealed off the first-century layers. The growing town included an upper-class area with an elite house that featured high-quality frescoes much like those at Herod the Great’s palace at Masada.