Ancient Discovery in Nazareth Sparks Heavy Interest

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Ancient Discovery in Nazareth Sparks Heavy Interest

Published 12/28/2009

(Nazareth, Israel) – Those thinking about traveling to Israel have some new incentives to make the jaunt, with a striking archeological find and a funky addition to the dining scene of Tel Aviv.

The remains of a 2,000-year-old residential building from the time of Jesus were discovered this week during an archaeological excavation by the Israel Antiquities Authority near the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth.

The ancient structure, consisting of two rooms and a courtyard, includes a rock-hewn cistern in its center which was used to collect rainwater. The structure was found underneath a 600-year-old wall dating to the Mamluke period. Fragments of Roman-era clay and chalk vessels were found inside the building and are believed to have been used by the ancient Hebrews approximately 2,000 years ago.

"The discovery is of the utmost importance since it reveals for the very first time a house from the Jewish village of Nazareth and thereby sheds light on the way of life at the time of Jesus," says Yardenna Alexander, Excavation Director, Israel Antiquities Authority. "No other settlement remains have been discovered that are attributed to this period."

On a less serious note, Tel Aviv added a new way to combine adrenaline with fine dining earlier this year.

Thrill-seekers traveling to Israel this year will now be able to experience what has become one of the world's most popular culinary attractions: The Dinner in the Sky.

Coined as "one of the ten most extraordinary culinary experiences in the world" by Forbes Magazine, Dinner in the Sky allows travelers to Israel to book private dinner parties for the excitement of being suspended 150 feet in the air by a large crane with 360-degree panoramic views of the City of David, the Tel Aviv beachfront or several other venues around Israel.

The unique platform seats up to 22 guests with three staff members. Each Dinner in the Sky menu will be carefully prepared and catered by world-renowned Israeli chef Frank Azulay and feature foie gras rolls, lamb ribs and cherry pie.

"We are thrilled to now offer this one-of-a-kind dining experience to travelers to Israel," says Arie Sommer, Commissioner of Tourism, North and South America. "And with Israel being an up-and-coming gourmand destination, Dinner in the Sky will serve as the perfect addition to our culinary repertoire."

For more information about travel to Israel, visit


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