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News – Early Syrian church

January 2009

Early Syrian church

 

A Christian church thought to date back to the fourth or fifth century AD has been discovered by archaeologists in Syria. The remains of the building were found in Palmyra in central Syria and are believed to be the largest ancient Christian church in Syria.

     The Palmyra site, 135 miles north-east of Damascus, marks an important desert road for caravans travelling to Mesopotamia and Persia, during the Roman-era. The city was destroyed by the Romans in the third century but the site remains a treasure trove for archaeologists.

     The latest find is the fourth church to be discovered in the city. Archaeologists have found two rooms on one side of the building and an amphitheatre in the courtyard that may have been used for baptisms, prayers and other religious ceremonies.

     Palmyra is traditionally identified with the city of Tadmor mentioned in 2 Chronicles 8:4 as a desert city built or fortified by King Solomon, son of David.

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