BIBLE HISTORY DAILY

Byzantine Church Discovered Outside of Jerusalem

Bible and archaeology news

abu-ghosh-byzantine-church

Aerial view of the Byzantine church excavated near Abu Ghosh in Israel. Photo: Skyview Company, courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority.

Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) archaeologists have discovered a Byzantine-period church during excavations near Abu Ghosh, a town just outside of Jerusalem in Israel. The 1,500-year-old church, which measures about 52 feet in length, includes a side chapel with a baptistery shaped like a four-leaf clover.

The Byzantine church sat along a road built in the Roman period that connected Jerusalem to the Mediterranean coast.

“Along this road … other settlements and road stations have previously been discovered that served those traveling the route in ancient times,” said IAA archaeologist Annette Nagar, who headed the excavations, in a press release.


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The church was once decorated with frescoes, as indicated by red plaster remains found throughout the site. Oil lamps, coins, glass vessels, marble fragments and mother-of-pearl shells were also discovered in the building. Rooms uncovered to the west of the church were likely used as residences and for storage, according to the archaeologists.

abu-ghosh-baptistery

The baptistery in the shape of a four-leaf clover. Photo: Annette Nagar, courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority.

“The finds have been documented, and we shall be studying them,” said Pablo Betzer, IAA district archaeologist for Judah. “A decision has been made with the National Roads Company to cover over the site and preserve it for future generations.”


 

Related reading in Bible History Daily:

Found After 1400 Years—The Magnificent Nea by Meir Ben-Dov

Pilgrims’ Progress to Byzantine Jerusalem

Byzantine Monastery with Vibrant Mosaics Discovered in the Northern Negev

Possible Byzantine Monastery Exposed near Beth Shemesh


 

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1 Responses

  1. Joe Cantello says:

    Is the baptistery shaped like a four leaf clover or like a small cross?

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1 Responses

  1. Joe Cantello says:

    Is the baptistery shaped like a four leaf clover or like a small cross?

Write a Reply or Comment

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