The Baptism Site or Bethany (Arabic: el-Maghtas) on the Jordan side of the Jordan River is one of the most important recent discoveries in biblical archaeology. Excavations only began here in 1996, following Jordan's peace treaty with Israel in 1994, but have already uncovered more than 20 churches, caves and baptismal pools dating from the Roman and Byzantine periods.
Although the identification is not absolutely certain, archaeology has shown that the area known as Wadi Kharrar has long been believed to be the biblical Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan, where John the Baptist lived and Jesus was baptized.
This area is also associated with the ascension of the Prophet Elijah into heaven, which is commemorated at a hill called Tell Mar Elias.
Note: This Bethany should not be confused with Bethany in Jerusalem, where Mary Magdalene lived and Lazarus was raised from the dead.