The Antiquities Authority announced on Wednesday that a 1,500-year-old Ancient Greek inscription bearing the name “Christ, born of Mary” was discovered in northern Israel.
At the entrance of an impressive building from the Byzantine or early Islamic era, featuring mosaic pavements decorated with a geometric pattern, the archaeologists found the inscription engraved.
The discovery was discovered before the construction of a road within the village of Taiba in the Jezreel Valley, in a salvage excavation led by Tzachi Lang and Kojan Haku.
The Ancient Greek inscription welcomes those who enter and blesses them, according to the press release. Therefore, it is clear that the building is a church and not a monastery, churches at their entrance welcomed believers, while monasteries did not do this.
Theodosius was the regional archbishop of the metropolis of Beit She’an in the 5th century CE, to which Taiba belonged. His name appeared in documents connected with the meetings of the archbishops.
At the beginning of documents or other types of text, the words’ Christ born of Mary’ were commonly used, serving as a blessing and defence from evil.
As a blessing, the inscription must have initially stood at the church entrance, where it could be seen by people. It has now been found embedded in the walls, however, so we know that the stone was reused as building material. The building probably collapsed and was rebuilt,’ pointed out Alexandre. The Jezreel Valley area (in the Northern District of Israel) has many records.
This is the first proof of the presence of the Byzantine church in the village of Taiba and it adds to other discoveries attesting to the activities of Christians living in the area,” said Dr. Walid Atrash, archaeologist of the IAA. ”
In the Byzantine era (5th to 7th centuries), Taiba itself was a Christian village and later became the site of a fortress for the Crusaders.