Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Thursday 23 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Pio of Pietrelcina
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

Remains of a 1500-year-old monastery found in Israel


Israel Antiquities Authority Official Channel | Youtube

Daniel Esparza - published on 12/22/17

Exceptional mosaic work reveals the building had a special importance among early Christians

Archaeologists working with the Israel Antiquities Authority discovered the site in which a major early Christian church once stood, in the central Israeli town of Beit Shemesh. As the team discovered extraordinary mosaics, crucifixes and iconic Christian architecture at the site, they were able to date both these findings and the building itself as belonging to the 4th century.

The church, which was in use for around 300 years from the 4th to the 7th century, most likely expanded into a monastic complex throughout the years, as explained by Haaretz.

It is known that the Beit Shemesh area was populated mostly by Christians from the time of Constantine (ruling from 306 to 337). But the mosaics found in this particular church are quite exceptional, as they reveal custom-made artistry. Most mosaic artists then would work with patterns already established, so finding new shapes, motifs and designs implies the building had a particular importance of its own.  In fact, these mosaics also include green stones that must have been imported, as there is nothing like them in the region.

Also, the church is big when compared to other communal regular churches in the area, and is built in marble, which would have been imported from Turkey.

Read more in the original article published by Haaretz here.

ArchaeologyChurch HistoryHistory
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
Our Lady of La Salette
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady of La Salette can give us hope in darkness
Philip Kosloski
An alternative Hail Mary to Our Lady of Sorrows
Philip Kosloski
Pray this Psalm when you successfully recover from an illness
Cecilia Pigg
7 Ways the saints can help you sleep better at night
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
Philip Kosloski
Why do some Eastern Catholics use spoons for Holy Communion?
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.