Young Journalists Club | Latest news of Iran and world

News ID: 43718
Publish Date: 12:44 - 19 September 2019
TEHRAN, Sept 19_A fire that destroyed an ancient Holy Land church near the Sea of Galilee around 700 CE appears to have preserved the church's beautiful mosaic floor, which includes depictions of baskets, loaves and fish, as well as inscriptions.

Archaeologists uncover mosaic from 5th century church near Sea of GalileeTEHRAN, Young Journalists Club(YJC)_The floor was protected by a layer of ash and the remains of the church's collapsed roof. 

According to the Gospel of John, it was at the Sea of Galilee that Jesus fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish, a miracle Christians call the Feeding of the Multitude.

The miracle is mentioned four times in the New Testament.

In 2005, University of Haifa archaeologists first discovered part of the so-called Burnt Church, built in the 5th century CE and located in the ancient city of Hippos in Northern Israel, but only began excavating it in earnest this summer.

Located 1.2 miles from the Sea of Galilee, Hippos -- which affords a breathtaking view of the sea -- was the central city of the region during Roman and Byzantine times.

"There can certainly be different explanations to the descriptions of loaves and fish in the mosaic, but you cannot ignore the similarity to the description in the New Testament: for example, from the fact that the New Testament has a description of five loaves in a basket or the two fish depicted in the apse, as we find in the mosaic," said Michael Eisenberg, head of the excavation team in Hippos on behalf of Haifa University's Institute of Archaeology.

Eisenberg told Religion News Service that the Burnt Church and its mosaic provide insights into the local Christian community of the time.

"The church itself is the legacy of the ministry of Jesus," he said. "I think they had collective memories of the miracles." Miracles, Eisenberg noted, which had taken place just hundreds of years before. "When they stood in the church and looked out, they recognized the places where the various miracles took place."

That the mosaic is well-crafted but does not match the quality of some of the other mosaics discovered in the Holy Land also provides insight in the community, Eisenberg said.


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