— -- Archaeologists in Israel believe they may have uncovered the location where Jesus Christ taught and preached.
The discovery was made in the ancient town of Magdala -- thought to be the hometown of Mary Magdalene -- on the western shore of the sea of Galilee.
Jesus is believed to have spent most of his life in the area.
The Legionaries of Christ, a Catholic organization, bought land in the area, planning to build a hotel. An ancient temple was uncovered among the ruins in 2009.
Five years later, archaeologists are convinced that Jesus taught here, with relics seeming to support that theory. Among the historic treasures are a main hall with an elaborate mosaic floor; a limestone block carved with a menorah, the oldest ever found on stone; and Jewish ritual baths.
Father Juan Solana, founder of the Magdala Center, a spiritual center run by the Legionaries of Christ, said Jesus’ interactions in the area bolster the possibility that he taught at the site.
“Jesus was traveling many times with the boat, the fishermen and for sure I think he taught in that synagogue,” Solana said. “We can see Jesus surrounded by the people sitting on the benches of the synagogue, reading the Torah.”
Some of the artifacts were taken for the pope to see, the archaeologists said.
Work continues at the site, with 12 acres of the ancient city left to excavate.