Excavations at Bethsaida by Arav yielded an inscription of the name “Akiba” (Aramaic form of Jacob) from 8th century BCE. It is the earliest occurrence of the name made famous by the 2nd century CE rabbi, Akiba. Another inscription was found on a handle from the palace bearing the name Machy, short for Michyahu, which means “Who is like Yahweh.” Another handle was stamped with the name Zechario—meaning “remembered of Yahweh” (a similar stamp was found at Tel Dan).

Bethsaida Rediscovered, Rami Arav, Richard A. Freund and John F. Shroder, Jr. BAR 26-01, Jan-Feb 2000.

See also-

Tel Dan Stele, c. 840 BCE