The ruins of a Roman army base were also found, revealing the startling discovery that some centurions were among early Christians.
What may be the oldest Christian church in the world lies beneath a prison in northern Israel, built by the British in the 1940s. Today, Israeli officials announced, the Megiddo Prison will be evacuated to become an archaeological park, according to an article at Haaretz.com.
The inmates will be relocated to a new prison that complies with Israel’s newly adopted standards allowing space per inmate equal to the standards set in European countries.
Archaeologists discovered the ruins of the early Christian prayer house during an excavation that began in 2003, in which the prisoners themselves took part in the digging. One inmate was credited with discovering a well-preserved mosaic, dating back to the year 230, which named Jesus as a deity.
The mosaic bears the inscription, in ancient Greek: “The god-loving Akeptous has offered the table to God Jesus Christ as a memorial.”
According to the article in Haaretz.com, Akeptous is thought to be a woman who paid for the table, which functioned as the altar for the Eucharist.