Phase I: Archaeology
Beginning in 1997, Nazareth Village commissioned several archaeological excavations of agricultural installations – a wine press, watchtowers, terraces and quarries – that were discovered on a hillside less than 500 metres from the original site of Nazareth. These installations were established as dating from the Early Roman period, making the site itself an historical treasure that preserves invaluable links with the farming and building traditions of first-century Nazareth.
Phase II: Research and Site Restoration
An intensive research programme was initiated in 1998, investigating both literary and field sources concerning Early Roman period settlements and terraced farms in Israel. Concurrent with this, a project of land restoration was implemented to preserve and restore the ancient terraced site, providing an authentic first-century environment for reconstruction of the village. The restoration phase followed project guidelines intended to set a precedent: to enlist and follow the highest academic authorities towards the goal of maximum authenticity and educational value, with a reconstruction protocol committed towards utilising ancient building technology towards that objective.
Phase III: Research and Reconstruction
Reconstruction of the village commenced in November 1999 with the construction of the first courtyard-house (House I). After evaluation and scholarly review of this structural prototype, built according to reconstruction guidelines established in the research phase, a second courtyard-house complex was built (House II-III), followed by a first-century style synagogue, the first of its type ever reconstructed. Additional completed projects include a sheepfold for sheltering animals and a detached village cistern. An oil press complex with associated installations is at an advanced stage of construction.
Reconstruction Chronology – Mark Goodman