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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Jordan archaeologists unearth an ancient church



"Jordan archaeologists have unearthed what could be the
world's oldest church dating back 2,000 years.

Resembling scenes out of
an Indiana Jones movie, scientists explored the underground cavern and
discovered a cave underneath the church which they believe it is an even more
ancient site of Christian worship than the church site above it.


Archaeologist Abdel-Qader Hussein, head of the Rihab Center for
Archaeological Studies, Abdul Qader al-Husan told The Jordan Times:'We have
uncovered what we believe to be the first church in the world, dating from 33 AD
to 70 AD."




the link







'We have evidence to believe this church sheltered the early
Christians - the 70 disciples of Jesus Christ.'

Mr Hussein said there
was evidence that the underground cave was used in the first century after
Christ's death, which would make it the oldest Christian site of worship in the
world.

The cave was unearthed in the northern Jordanian city of Rihab
after three months of excavation and shows evidence of early Christian rituals.

It lies under St. Georgeous church, which was built in 230 A.D.


He described a circular worship area with stone seats separated from
a living area that had a long tunnel leading to a source of water and said the
early Christians hid there from persecution.
A mosaic inscription on the
floor of the later church of St. Georgeous above refers to 'the 70 beloved by
God and the divine' who laid the foundations for the Christian church.
But
Thomas Parker, a historian at the University of North Carolina-Raleigh, who led
the discovery of the church in Aqaba, said that while he hadn't seen the Rihab
site, any such claim should be taken with a degree of caution.
'An
extraordinary claim like this requires extraordinary evidence,' he said.
'We
need to see the artifacts and dating evidence to suggest such an occupation in
the 1st century A.D.'
Mr Parker asked how archaeologists could be certain
whether the 'cave was actually a center of Christian worship"


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the rest of the story go to the website:


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