Archaeologists have identified a first century home in Nazareth believed to be similar to the house that Jesus was raised in. It cannot be unequivocally confirmed at this time, but is regarded as a good possibility. Whether or not this was indeed the house that Jesus was raised in, it nevertheless provides us with important information about Nazarene life during Jesus’ childhood.
The house was first uncovered by the nuns of the Sisters of Nazareth convent in the late 1800s and was studied by a team of archaeologists in 2006. The team, led by Professor Ken Dark, confirmed that the house dated back to the first century and ascertained that it is the house where people who lived several centuries later believed that Jesus grew up. Ken Dark says that it is not possible to know if this was in fact the home of Jesus, but that it is certainly a possibility.
During the Byzantine Period, the house was decorated with mosaics and a church was built over it. This was fortunate because the church, known as the Church of the Nutrition, protected the house and allowed it to remain well preserved. The mosaics and establishment of a church indicate that the site was regarded as holy by the Byzantines. Professor Dark stated that, “Great efforts had been made to encompass the remains of this building within the vaulted cellars of both the Byzantine and Crusader churches, so that it was thereafter protected.”
Artifacts found in the house suggest that a first century Jewish family resided there. Among the items recovered were cooking pot remnants, a spindle whorl, and limestone vessels. These vessels offered important evidence that the home was inhabited by Jewish family because limestone was typically the material Jewish people used due to the belief that limestone could not become impure. This fact offers further support to the idea that Jesus’ family could have lived there.
Regardless of the fact that it is not possible to know for sure if this was the exact house of Jesus, it has proven to be valuable in providing a peek into the lifestyle that he would have lived.