An Ancient Church Building Uncovered in Galilee

An ancient church building of 1,300 year old recently found has been said to shed a light on the history of Christianity in the Galilee.

The Church was uncovered in Circassian Village of Kfar Kama by researchers from the Israel Antiquities Authority, in collaboration with the Kinneret Academic College.

According to the Archaeologist Nurit Feig, the measurement of the church was about 12 × 36 m, which includes a large courtyard, a narthex foyer, and a central hall. Nurit Feig was the one who led the excavation.

Nurit said unlike most churches that is characterized by single apse(prayer niche) this church has three apses (prayer niches) to its existence. He went further to describe the nave and the aisles which were paved with mosaics which partially survived, the colorful decoration which stood out, incorporating geometric patterns, and blue, black, and red floral patterns. A special discovery was the small reliquary, a stone box used to preserve sacred relics. Nurit added.

Three adjacent rooms was also found by the teams next to the church pointing to evidence that the large complex could have been a monastery.

Prof. Moti Aviam who believed the newly discovered church may be linked to another church discovered nearby in the 1960s said the church discovered decades ago was probably the village church while the church discovered now was probably part of a contemporary monastery on the outskirts of the village.

Experts say this church complex was probably important to the Christians who settled this area during the Byzantine period. The site of this church was located close to Mount Tabor, where, according to Christian tradition, Jesus was transfigured and spoke to Moses and Elijah.

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