In 2007, however, Hebrew University professor Ehud Netzer and colleagues announced that they had pinpointed the site of Herod’s grave, by matching it to the remains of a rectangular monumental stone building faced by an open area, similar to a hippodrome, which was large enough to be the site of the enormous funeral procession described by the historian Flavius Josephus.

Recently, though, other researchers have questioned the find, arguing that the grandeur-loving Herod’s ego would have required an even bigger, more elaborate tomb.

Here are a few of archaeologists’ finds.• The ancient village of Nazareth: In 2009, the Israeli Antiquities Authority announced that archaeologists working in the ancient village of Nazareth, where the New Testament says that Jesus lived, had uncovered the first actual remains of a house that dated back to that period.

The ruins are located next to the Basilica of the Annunciation, Yardenna Alexandre, who supervised the excavation for the IAA, told Archaeology magazine: “This [house] may have been a place that Jesus and his contemporaries were familiar with.” The house was small--just two rooms, plus a courtyard plus a courtyard with a cistern hewn from rock to collect rainwater.

It was written in Latin rather than Greek, the common language used in public notices of that time in the region, and Pilate spelled out his title rather than using an abbreviation, which usually was the practice.• The Family Tomb of Caiaphas: In 1990, a dump truck broke through the roof of an underground burial chamber in Jerusalem.

While some of the ossuaries, or bone boxes, in the tomb had been ransacked by grave robbers, others reportedly were untouched.

[top] The time periods used within the database are summarised here, and are based on the definitions produced by the English Heritage Periods list available from the INSCRIPTIONS website (

This period is characterised by the practice of farming and the appearance of large monumental displays. It is preceded by the Mesolithic period, and is followed by the Bronze Age.But scripture contains little description of the craft they used, and for years archaeologists knew relatively little about them.But after a drought in 1986, two brothers who were fishermen noticed the outline of an object poking up through the mud on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.An official from the antiquities authority was called in to investigate, and eventually a 26-and-a-half-foot boat was unearthed.Carbon dating of the wood determined that the boat dated back to between 120 BC and 40 AD, and a lamp, cooking pot and other pottery discovered with the sunken craft were roughly consistent with that time period as well, leaving open the possibility that the boat had been used during Jesus’ lifetime.The boat’s builders, for example, used the planking, rather than the frame, to provide strength and shape to the hull—an ancient design that dated back 1,400 years before Jesus’ time.