Israeli archaeologists unearth Byzantine-era church in outskirts of Jerusalem

June 16, 2015 While constructing a road, workers stumbled on the remains of a Byzantine-era church, in the outskirts of Jerusalem. The workers were expanding the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway when they came across the 16-meter long church. The church had a side chapel with a white mosaic floor and a baptismal font in the form of a four leaf clover on the chapel’s north-eastern corner.

Archaeologist Annette Nagar of Israel Antiquities Authority said “During excavations we discovered a church which includes a side chapel. The church by the way is dated to the fifth-seventh centuries AD that is the Byzantine era. The church includes a side chapel, paved with white mosaic floor, the walls are plastered and at the north-eastern corner there is a baptismal font,”

According to her, the church was used as a “road station and also provided religious services.”

Some rooms were also discovered to the west of the church. They seemed to have been used as dwelling quarters and for storage, as the archaeologists found a large quantity of pottery tiles. Further inquiry around the site yielded findings such as oil lamps, coins, special glass vessels, marble fragments and mother-of-pearl shells. The site will be preserved.

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