Sunday, November 05, 2017

Christians in the late-antique Galilee

ARCHAEOLOGY: Pagans in Northern, late-Roman Palestine Embraced Christianity Early, Archaeologists Say. By the fifth century, some Galilean villages had at least one church with elaborate mosaics and a bishop, and at least one had a female donor (Nir Hasson and Ruth Schuster, Haaretz).
Excavations in western Galilee villages dating to about 1,600 years ago show that Christianity won over the pagan locals very fast, and strongly, archaeologists say.

A little more than a century after the Roman Empire converted from paganism to Christianity, each of the villages in the western Galilee explored so far had at least one church and its own bishop, excavator Mordechai Aviam told Haaretz.

Aviam and Jacob Ashkenazi, both of Kinneret College, uncovered a previously unknown church. That and two churches discovered earlier all had elaborate mosaic floors on which the two researchers found seven new inscriptions.

Many interesting finds.

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