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Rare Christian mosaic unearthed in Jerusalem

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Ancient mosaic dates back to Byzantine era.

Workers installing communication cables in Jerusalem's Old City have unearthed a Byzantine Christian mosaic inscribed with honors to Emperor Justinian and his priest.

The mosaic is undergoing restoration for possible display.

The mosaic is undergoing restoration for possible display.


By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
Catholic Online (
8/24/2017 (2 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Byzantine, mosaic, Christian, Justinian, Jerusalem

LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Workers laying a telecommunications cable in Jerusalem's Old City have discovered a Byzantine era mosaic. The artifact is almost perfectly preserved and contains an inscription in Greek that is still perfectly legible.

The inscription reads: "The most pious Roman emperor Flavius Justinian and the most God-loving priest and abbot, Constantine, erected the building in which sat during the 14th indiction." This in the inscription refers to the mosaic itself and the 14th indiction was a way of measuring time in the ancient world that correlated to 550-551 AD. Constantine was the abbot of the church next to where the mosaic was placed. The mosaic was located at a neighboring hostel which provided shelter for Christian pilgrims.

Justinian was a legendary emperor who commissioned the construction of churches on holy Christian sites around his empire. He is responsible for finalizing the conversion of the empire's people to Christianity.

Some of the churches he commissioned still stand today, although they have been entirely renovated throughout the last 1,500 years. others are buried in ruins. In this case, the church was buried by development over the centuries, but was dug up by workers and archaeologists.

The mosaic is a rare find and it is being restored by specialists for long term preservation and possible display.

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