Airport Expansion Reveals the Oldest Church in Iraq

Bible and archaeology news

A 2007 expansion of an airport in Najaf, Iraq exposed the remains of the earliest known Christian church in Iraq. Originally built some 1,700 years ago, the remains require proper excavation, but the wartime discovery coupled with a lack of funding has hindered scientific study. The ruins point to a thriving Christian community in early first millennium Iraq. Some scholars believe the site to be the Arab Christian center Hira, an important center of Nestorian Christianity for centuries. Christianity was spread by the Arab Christian Lakhmid dynasty, who made Hira their capital in 266 C.E. The discovery of the oldest known Christian site in Iraq is a reflection of Iraq’s rich and diverse cultural heritage in Iraq, and Iraqi archaeologists hope to conduct a proper excavation in the future.

Archaeologists stand next to ruins which scholars think may be from the legendary Arab Christian city of Hira, just a few hundred yards (meters) from the runway of the airport in the holy Shiite Muslim city of Najaf. (AP Photo/Alaa al-Marjani)

Read more



From Babylon to Baghdad: Ancient Iraq and the Modern West examines the relationship between ancient Iraq and the origins of modern Western society. This free eBook, a collection of articles written by authoritative scholars, details some of the ways in which ancient Near Eastern civilizations have impressed themselves on Western culture. It examines the evolving relationship that modern scholarship has with this part of the world, and chronicles the present-day fight to preserve Iraq’s cultural heritage.



Posted in News, The Ancient Near Eastern World.

Tagged with , , , , , , , , .

Add Your Comments

3 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. Frankie says

    I hope they find some manuscripts

Continuing the Discussion

  1. this went thru my mind | linked to this post on August 6, 2012

    [...] Archaeology: Airport Expansion Reveals the Oldest Church in Iraq [...]

  2. Älteste nestorianische Kirche entdeckt | Der Almane vom Stamm der Sachsen linked to this post on August 7, 2012

    [...] z. B. der Mönch Bahīrā eben­falls ein Anhän­ger der Nes­t­o­ria­ner gewesen.Quel­len:Bible History Daily: Air­port Expan­sion Reve­als the Oldest Church in IraqThe Press-News: Ruins a Memento of Iraqi Chris­ti­ans’ [...]


Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.


Enter Your Log In Credentials

Change Password

×