Archaeologists may have found Biblical town linked to Ark of the Covenant

Rob Waugh
Stained glass in the Chapel of Notre-Dame des flots (1857) in Sainte Adresse, France, depicting The Supper at Emmaus (Getty)

A 2,200-year-old fortification unearthed in Israel may be a town mentioned in the Bible – and linked to the Ark of the Covenant.

Israeli news site Haaretz reports that archaeologists believe a fortification at Kiriath-Jearim, a hill outside Abu Ghosh, near Jerusalem, could be the site of the Biblical town of Emmaus, which is mentioned in the Gospel of Luke.

In the gospel, Jesus appears to his apostles on the road to Emmaus after his crucifixion and resurrection.

Luke 24:13 says: “Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem.”

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Researchers led by Prof Israel Finkelstein of Tel Aviv University believe the remains could be Emmaus.

Others are more sceptical.

A mosque in the Israeli village of Abu Ghosh.

Benjamin Isaac of Tel Aviv University said that Prof Finkelstein and his team have a good case archaeologically, geographically and topographically.

“However,” Prof Isaac said, “it is a hypothesis and remains a hypothesis.”

Finkelstein told Fox News: “The finds at Kiriath-Jearim hint at its long-term role as guarding the approach to Jerusalem.

“This can be seen in the Iron Age, Hellenistic and early Roman periods. The Hellenistic and Roman period remains shed light on the much-debated issue of the location of the New Testament’s Emmaus.”