Greek inscriptions have been found at the site, indicating that the church was dedicated to the memory of a “glorious martyr,” but it is not clear which one.
24 km southwest of Jerusalem, archaeologists discovered a Byzantine-era Christian temple dedicated to an unknown martyr, reports Live Science.
The age of the excavated temple is estimated at 1500 years. Ancient mosaics were found in it.
Greek inscriptions were also found at the site, which indicates that the church was dedicated to the memory of a “glorious martyr,” but it is not clear which one.
At the time the church was built, the Byzantine Empire controlled Israel, the inscription in the church says that it was enlarged during the reign of Emperor Flavius Tiberius, who ruled from 578 to 582. Israel and neighboring territories were conquered by the Islamic Caliphate between 634 and 638.
However, despite the spread of Islam in the area, the church flourished and was not abandoned until the 10th century, archaeologists noted.
Inside the temple, there are traces of iconoclasm (the deliberate destruction of artifacts and images). For example, the mosaics depicted animals, but they were erased for some reason.
As you know, the first excavations on the site of this church began in 2017, before construction in the area had begun.