Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/24/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Archaeologists suspect it also served as a center of Christian worship

A Christogram surrounded by birds has been discovered by archaeologists in Israel on the floor of a 1,500-year-old Byzantine church. Researchers suspect it also served as a center of Christian worship for neighboring communities as it was next to the main road running between the ancient seaport city of Ashkelon in the west and Beit Guvrin and Jerusalem in the east.

'Usually a Byzantine village had a church, but the size of this church and its placement on the road makes it more important,'  excavator Davida Eisenberg Degen, pictured, said.

"Usually a Byzantine village had a church, but the size of this church and its placement on the road makes it more important," excavator Davida Eisenberg Degen, pictured, said.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/24/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Christogram, Byzantine, Israel, archaeology


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - First discovered during a salvage excavation ahead of a construction project in Aluma, which is a village about 30 miles south of Tel Aviv, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced this week. The team used an industrial digger to probe a mound at the site, and through a 10-foot hole, where they could view the white tiles of the ancient mosaic, excavator Davida Eisenberg Degen said.

The majority of the church was revealed during excavations over the past month. The basilica was part of a local Byzantine settlement.

This lovely print could be hanging in your home!

"Usually a Byzantine village had a church, but the size of this church and its placement on the road makes it more important," Degen said.

One of the most remarkable finds so far was a mosaic containing a Christogram, or a "type of monogram of the name of Jesus," Degen said.

Byzantine Christians at this time wouldn't have put crosses on their mosaic floors so as to not step on the symbol of Christ, Degen explained. The Christogram in the mosaic may look like a cross, but it's actually more like a "chi rho" symbol, which puts together the first two capital letters in the Greek word for Christ, which resembles an X superimposed on a P.

There is also an alpha and omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet on either side of the chi rho, which is another Christian symbol. Christ was often described as the "the beginning and the end." Four birds also decorate the mosaic, two of which are holding up a wreath to the top of the chi rho.

Inside the 72-by-39-foot basilica, archaeologists also found marble pillars and an open courtyard paved with a white mosaic floor, Daniel Varga, director of the IAA's excavations says.

In the church's narthex, or lobby area, there is "a fine mosaic floor decorated with colored geometric designs" as well as a "twelve-row dedicatory inscription in Greek containing the names 'Mary' and 'Jesus', and the name of the person who funded the mosaic's construction," Varga said in a statement.

The mosaics in the main hall are decorated with vine tendrils in the shape of 40 medallions, one of which contains the Christogram. Many of the other medallions contain botanical designs and animals such as a zebras, peacocks, leopards and wild boars, the excavators said.

Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Middle East

HILARIOUS PHOTOS! 'Fearless' Islamic State fighters caught deserting - dressed AS WOMEN! Watch

Image of Another man, wishing he was somewhere, anywhere else is also seen wear a multicolored tunic. It appears as if the two men were trying - quite unsuccessfully, to blend into the local civilian population.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

It is a grimly hilarious comment on the "fearless" forces fighting on behalf of the Islamic State. MailOnline says it can't independently verify the photos - but it appears that two ISIS fighters, when seeing advancing Iraqi troops, shaved off their beards, ... continue reading


Latest ISIS video features Jihadi Junior KILLING three ISIS prisoners Watch

Image of Isa Dare, nicknamed Jihadi Junior, denotated the bombs that kiled three ISIS prisoners (Heavy).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Four-year-old Isa Dare, who has been dubbed "Jihadi Junior," appeared in the latest ISIS propaganda video - and was filmed detonating a car bomb, killing three men. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The seven-minute video features three "coalition spies" admit they ... continue reading


Justice for Kayla Mueller?: Umm Sayyaf tried in U.S. Watch

Image of Kayla Mueller was repeatedly raped and tortured during her time as an ISIS captive (Kayla Jean Mueller/Google+).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Nisreen Assad Ibrahim Bahar, also known as Umm Sayyaf, teamed up with her husband, Abu Sayyaf, to hold several women captive for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the man guilty of repeatedly raping and torturing U.S. relief worker Kayla Mueller. Since al-Baghdadi's death, Bahar ... continue reading


ISIS sex slaves fight back: Female troupe set to attack terrorist organization Watch

Image of Xate Shingali [not pictured] leads the group despite being a famous Iraqi singer.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

It is no secret that ISIS has a habit of raping and murdering their way across the Middle East in their twisted pursuit of eradicating all non-Muslims, but what happens to the sex slaves who escape? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Apparently, escaped Yazidi sex ... continue reading


Iran raises eyebrows with mystery construction Watch

Image of Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, has remained silent about the military site construction (Wikipedia).

By Thomas Heed (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Satellite images reveal Iran's top-secret Parchin military complex has undergone quite the makeover between 2010 and 2016. The construction raises concerns about the nuclear deal and whether Iran has decided to cheat - or not. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - New ... continue reading


Two members of Jihadi John's 'ISIS Beatles' finally identified Watch

Image of Thirty-two-year-old Alexanda Kotey, along with Aine Davis, both attended the same mosque as Mohammed Emwazi, aka

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Two members of Jihadi John's infamous "ISIS Beatles," have been identified. Alexanda Kotey and Aine Davis, both from the United Kingdom have been named in connection with the believed deceased Jihadi John's special terror group. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


'Dam will burst' if West does not come to aid of Syrian refugees, King of Jordan warns Watch

Image of At least 80,000 Syrian refugees are now stationed at the Al Zaatari refugee camp. The camp only has the capacity for 60,000 people (Reuters).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

King Abdullah of Jordan says waves of Syrian refugees into his nation have placed an overwhelming strain on his country's health care and education systems. The king says that his country is at a breaking point and that help must arrive before the "dam bursts." ... continue reading


ISIS COWARD! Suicide belt bomb maker confesses he would NEVER wear one Watch

Image of Twenty-two-year-old Jasim Mohammed Atti'ya is under arrest for his role in the attack on a government building in Kirkuk, in northern Iraq in November of last year (Fox News).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

While he makes them - he freely confesses he would never use one - to forfeit his life for the "cause" of the Islamic State. That is the confession of an incarcerated suspect believed involved in a terrorist attack. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


ENGLISH-speaking young boy featured in ISIS' latest horror beheading video Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

ISIS has released another gruesome beheading video, but this time the executioner is an English-speaking young boy. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The young boy, who's identity and ethnicity has not been determined, is featured directly threating the United ... continue reading


Disabled jihadi executes 'spy' in new horrific ISIS images Watch

Image of ISIS releases images of three more murders (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

ISIS has released several images depicting the crucifixion of one of three accused spies in Libya. Despite the obvious gore and lack of humanity, one executioner is shown in a wheelchair. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The images were released by propaganda group ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Stations of the Cross - Fifth Station: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to ...
  • Saint Valentine and why we offer roses
  • Prayer in Time of Anger HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Sunday, February 14, 2016
  • 5 of the best non-traditional ways to celebrate Valentine's Day
  • Can you answer these four challenging questions about Lent?
  • St. Valentine: Saint of the Day for Sunday, February 14, 2016

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 58:9-14
9 Then you will cry for help and Yahweh will answer; you will call and he ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Prayer Of David] Listen to me, Yahweh, answer me, for I am poor and ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 5:27-32
27 When he went out after this, he noticed a tax collector, Levi by name, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 13th, 2016 Image

St. Catherine de Ricci
February 13: St. Catherine was born in Florence in 1522. Her ... Read More