The inscription was engraved in Greek into a stone originally from the lintel of a Byzantine church
A stone, engraved in Greek, reading “Christ born of Mary.”, was found at el-Taiyiba in the Jezreel Valley in the Upper Galilee. It had originally been part of the lintel of a Byzantine (5th-century C.E.) church. The church was part of the religious authority of the metropolis of Bet She’an, which included el-Taiyiba. The discovery was announced on January 20, 2021 by the Israel Antiquities Authority. Their excavation was directed by Tzachi Lang and Kojan Haku.
Dr. Leah Di-Segni, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, deciphered the dedication. It read, “Christ born of Mary. This work of the most God-fearing and pious bishop [Theodo]sius and the miserable Th[omas] was built from the foundation – – Whoever enters should pray for them.” Theodosius was the archbishop of Bet She’an.
Dig into more than 9,000 articles in the Biblical Archaeology Society’s vast library plus much more with an All-Access pass.
The stone was found where it had been repurposed and placed in one of the walls of a majestic building, from the late Byzantine or early Islamic period. The building excavations revealed mosaic floors in two rooms, designed with a geometric pattern. The inscription on the stone was a greeting to visitors, supporting researchers’ conclusions that it had been a dedication to a church, not a monastery. The excavation directors further explained that, “The excavation yielded finds from a variety of periods, shedding light on the long settlement sequence at et-Taiyiba in the valley, and on its status among the local settlements.”
This story originally appeared in Bible History Daily in January of 2021
Sign up to receive our email newsletter and never miss an update.
Dig into the world of Bible history with a BAS All-Access membership. Biblical Archaeology Review in print. AND online access to the treasure trove of articles, books, and videos of the BAS Library. AND free Scholar Series lectures online. AND member discounts for BAS travel and live online events.Subscribe Today