Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Church of the Ark

Last Friday, December 1, I went to the settlement of Shilo. While I was there, they showed me a Byzantine Church they are excavating on the Tell by the settlement. The Tell is the site of the Biblical town of Shilo, for which the settlement is named.

Today there was an article in The Telegraph about the church. The mosaics are amazing. They showed me the inscriptions they refer to in the article, including a new on they had just uncovered Thursday evening. They read: May the Lord Jesus Christ Keep Watch over the Inhabitants of Shilo and may he bless Antonius the Bishop, Germanius the priest and Zorys the mosaic maker." Off to the side is a baptismal font with the inscription they uncovered Thursday. There is an additional inscription by a bench that says "This seat was made by Zoyrs the mosaic maker."

Inscription calling for the protection of the residents of Shilo

There are actually two levels of mosaics. Apparently the older church was built in an area of bad drainage. So they covered it up (which preserved the mosaics really well) and build a new one slightly overlapping the old. There is a mosque on top of all of that which is 1100 years old. I took some pictures, which I will download later.

Getting to see cool archaeological sites while working is awesome! Some days, I really like my job! :)

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