web analytics
January 31, 2015 / 11 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Major 1,500-Year-Old Church and Mosaic Discovered

This archaeological discovery will save Jews from living in homes built over the remains of a church.
Site of 1,500-year-old church and mosaic discovered north of Be'er Sheva.

Site of 1,500-year-old church and mosaic discovered north of Be'er Sheva.
Photo Credit: Israel Antiquities Authority

Archaeologists digging where a new housing development is to be built have uncovered a 1,500-year-old church and magnificent mosaic with five inscriptions at Moshav Aluma, located between Be’er Sheva and Rehovot.

“An impressive basilica building was discovered at the site, 22 meters long and 12 meters wide,” said Dr. Daniel Varga, who directied the excavations on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

“The building consists of a central hall with two side aisles divided by marble pillars. At the front of the building is a wide open courtyard (atrium) paved with a white mosaic floor, and with a cistern,” he explained. “Leading off the courtyard is a rectangular transverse hall (narthex) with a fine mosaic floor decorated with colored geometric designs; at its center, opposite the entrance to the main hall, is a twelve-row dedicatory inscription in Greek containing the names Mary and Jesus, and the name of the person who funded the mosaic’s construction.”

The main hall (the nave) has a colored mosaic floor adorned with vine tendrils to form forty medallions. The medallions contain depictions of different animals, including a zebra, leopard, turtle, wild boar, various winged birds and botanical and geometric designs.

Three medallions contain dedicatory inscriptions in Greek commemorating senior church dignitaries, Demetrios and Herakles, who were heads of the local regional church.  On both sides of the central nave are two narrow halls, or side aisles, which also have colored mosaic floors depicting botanical and geometric designs, as well as Christian symbols.

A pottery workshop, mainly for the production of jars, was also uncovered during the excavations and yielded numerous finds, including: amphorae, cooking pots, kraters, bowls and different kinds of oil lamps. Glass vessels typical of the Byzantine period were also discovered at the site. The finds indicate a rich and flourishing local culture.

This church is part of a large and important Byzantine settlement that existed in the region. The settlement was located next to the main road running between Ashkelon on the sea coast to the west, and Beit Guvrin and Jerusalem to the east. Excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority along this road have revealed other communities from the same period, but no churches have been found in them.

The recently uncovered church may have served as a center for Christian worship for all the surrounding communities. Wine presses and pottery workshops found in the region attest to the economy of the local residents during the Byzantine period, who made ​​their living from the production and exportation of wine via the coast to the entire Mediterranean region.

The site will be open to the public Thursday and Friday, Later, it will be covered and preserves for future generations. The magnificent mosaic that has come to light will be conserved, removed from the site and displayed to the public at a museum or visitors’ center.

About the Author: JewishPress.com brings you the latest in Jewish news from around the world. Stay up to date by following up on Facebook and Twitter. Do you have something noteworthy to report? Submit your news story to us here.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “Major 1,500-Year-Old Church and Mosaic Discovered”

  1. Why not just keep the entire site with the mosaics in situ?

  2. Why not just keep the entire site with the mosaics in situ?

  3. Xavier Williams says:

    fix my bin

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Jeremy Bird, working for Israeli campaign outfit V15, shown at Ted Talk, May 20, 2014.
V15 US Political Operative Marinated in Hate-Israel Activism
Latest News Stories
Jeremy Bird, working for Israeli campaign outfit V15, shown at Ted Talk, May 20, 2014.

V15′s Bird was marinated in his former boss’s hatred of and blame-only Israel mindset.

Palestinian Child Soldiers

Palestinian Authority child soldiers – a crime against humanity.

Children learn how to shoot rifles to kill Jews.

Maybe, just maybe, the new generation of terrorists will one day turn their guns on their oppressors in Gaza.

You are looking at an "armed insurgent" and not a terrorist, according to the White House.

The White House explains that Taliban is not a terrorist group — it is an “armed insurgency.”

The US in November stopped funding a left-wing group that is helping to campaign against Netanyahu

Super Bowl viewers will have to get along with Scarlett Johansson this year.

Cruz and New York Rep. Zeldin complained to Kerry of Obama’s “relentless harassment.”

A Shin Bet sting nabs Arab Israelis after returning from Syria where they join Al Qaeda and ISIS-linked terror groups — a whole group this month.

That’s it. If you didn’t register your party by now, you’re not running for the upcoming Knesset elections.

Simultaneous explosions in Egypt killed and wounded dozens Thursday night.

National religious voters favoring the new Yachad party headed by Eli Yishai may be wasting their votes.

ISIS threatens to behead Obama, turn the U.S. into a Muslim province, and destroy France and Belgium.

Locked in Auschwitz, their cries for assistance were not heard, so they escaped through an open window, setting off an alarm.

Hezbollah is a terrorist group and terrorist party, but most and worst of all, it is a huge and powerful army.

Lieberman’s issues a disproportionate response to polls that show his party will barely squeeze into the Knesset.

Boehner criticized President Obama for failing to take the threat of terrorism and the Iranian nuclear threat seriously.

More Articles from Jewish Press News Briefs
Israeli election workers count remaining ballots from soldiers and absentees at the Knesset in Jerusalem

That’s it. If you didn’t register your party by now, you’re not running for the upcoming Knesset elections.

Soldiers carry injured comrades

Five IDF soldiers are in Ziv Hospital in Tzefat…

Rivlin returning early to Israel from US trip due to situation in northern Israel.

Lebanese Hezbollah supporters celebrate IDF deaths Wednesday by giving sweets to motorists.

Soldiers hit in missile attack were patrolling in non-armored jeeps.

Arab brother, sister were apparently planning attack.

1:05 AM Syrian Media reports sites Israeli forces targeted belonged to Assad regime forces, including “Brigade 90.” Multiple sites targeted, including base near Khan Arnabah, and west Damascus. 12:54 AM No rockets were found on the Golan. It is believed that the rocket siren went off on the Golan in response to the IAF attack […]

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/major-1500-year-old-church-and-mosaic-discovered/2014/01/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: