PLace

Khirbat Karraza

Place
Khirbat Karraza — خِرْبَة كَرّازَة
District
Galilee
Average Elevation
50 m
Subdistrict
Safad
Distance from Safad
8.5 km

The village was located on a small hill underlain by volcanic rocks, about 4 km north of the shore of Lake Tiberias. It was close to the site of the ancient town of Khorazin, mentioned in the Bible (Matthew 11:21; Luke 10:13) as one of the towns where Jesus preached. A synagogue was built there in the third century A.D. but was destroyed some time in the fourth century. Khirbat Karraza lay within the territory claimed by the Zanghariyya Bedouin tribe; many of its inhabitants were members of the Sawalima branch of this tribe. In 1948 there were about fifteen stone-built houses in the village and a comparable number of tents where semi-pastoral villagers lived when they were not moving with their flocks. A shrine for a local Muslim saint, Shaykh Ramadan, stood in the northern part of the village. The shrine, which was built around the saint's tomb, played an economic as well as religious role in the villagers' life; they stored their grain near the shrine, confident that no one would violate the shrine's sanctity by stealing anything kept there. The ruins of the town of Khorazin and a synagogue have been partially excavated, and a field of dolmens to the east and southeast of the village site has been surveyed.

The settlements of Khorazin and Amnon were built close to the site in 1983 on lands that belonged to the village of al-Samakiyya (Tiberias District), 3.5 km to the south, which was also depopulated.

The site serves as an archaeological and tourist area. Some village houses still stand, together with the remains of other houses. One of the old houses has been renovated. Also remaining is the tomb of Shaykh Ramadan, around which the village shrine had been built. The tomb is collapsing and the building in which it was housed no longer exists. It is surrounded by large carob trees.