Ancient Magdala, on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, was an important town in the days of its most famous citizen, Mary Magdalene. Ancient sources say fishermen and dyers had their own quarters, as well as 80 shops selling fine wool!
Its Greek name, Tarichae, means “pickled fish” indicating it was also a center for this industry. It also had a ship-building industry. Some scholars identify it as Mark’s Dalmanutha (8:10) where Jesus went after the feeding of the four thousand.
Some years ago during a drought, the lake receded to reveal the foundations of a tower archaeologists believe gave the town its name (which means tower), and might have been a lighthouse.
The gorgeous scenery around Magdala includes the impressive Arbel cliff and the Valley of Doves, the main road Jesus would have taken to this area from Nazareth. In fact, the best view of Magdala, whose excavations are in a fenced-off area belonging to the Franciscans, is from the top of Arbel, with the entire area of Jesus’ ministry stretching out to the horizon.