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'Church of the Ark' found on West Bank (Israel)
Telegraph ^ | December 4, 2006 | Harry de Quetteville

Posted on 12/04/2006 6:07:52 AM PST by NYer

Archaeologists claimed yesterday to have uncovered one of the world's first churches, built on a site believed to have once housed the Ark of the Covenant.

The site, emerging from the soil in a few acres in the hills of the Israeli occupied West Bank, is richly decorated with brightly coloured mosaics and inscriptions referring to Jesus Christ.

 
Archaeologists look over a mosaic discovered at Shiloh

According to the team, led by Yitzhak Magen and Yevgeny Aharonovitch, the church dates to the late 4th century, making it one of Christianity's first formal places of worship.

"I can't say for sure at the moment that it's the very first church," said Mr Aharonovitch, 38, as he oversaw a team carrying out the final excavations before winter yesterday. "But it's certainly one of the first." He said the site contained an extremely unusual inscription which referred to itself, Shiloh, by name.

"That is very rare and shows early Christians treated this as an ancient, holy place," said Mr Aharonovitch. According to the Old Testament, the Ark of the Covenant, which contained the two tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments, was kept by the Israelites at Shiloh for several hundred years.

It was eventually moved to the Holy of Holies in the Jerusalem temple that the Bible says was built by King Solomon around 1000 BC. When the temple was sacked by the Babylonians 400 years later, the Ark was lost, sparking theories about whether it had been hidden or destroyed.

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The team at Shiloh is considering whether to dig under the beautiful mosaics that they have uncovered, in order to find traces of the Ark. "We have to decide whether to fix the mosaics here or take them to a museum," said Mr Aharonovitch.

Jewish residents in the modern settlement of Shiloh, which sits on a hill amidst Palestinian villages, want the team to keep digging.

David Rubin, a former mayor of Shiloh, said: "We believe that if they continue to dig they'll reach back to the time of the Tabernacle," referring to the portable place of worship where the Israelites housed the Ark.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Israel; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: archaeology; ark; arkofthecovenant; biblicalarcheology; godsgravesglyphs
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1 posted on 12/04/2006 6:07:56 AM PST by NYer
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To: Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...
Catholic Ping
Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list

Eastern Catholic Ping List
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2 posted on 12/04/2006 6:08:58 AM PST by NYer (Apart from the cross, there is no other ladder by which we may get to Heaven. St. Rose of Lima)
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To: NYer; SunkenCiv

Good Grief Guys.


3 posted on 12/04/2006 6:09:34 AM PST by DaveLoneRanger ("I am here to fight evil and exchange good-natured barbs." - The Tick)
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To: NYer; SunkenCiv

That is a very Arabesque looking mosaic..........


4 posted on 12/04/2006 6:10:46 AM PST by Red Badger (New! HeadOn Hemorrhoid Medication for Liberals!.........Apply directly to forehead.........)
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To: SunkenCiv

ping


5 posted on 12/04/2006 6:17:13 AM PST by Hegemony Cricket (Attn. CBS Evening News chief: "Be a Hero - Save the World From this Cheerleader")
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To: NYer
Indiana Jones theme music is playing in my head. Any one else?
6 posted on 12/04/2006 6:17:34 AM PST by NavyCanDo
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To: DaveLoneRanger

7 posted on 12/04/2006 6:20:13 AM PST by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: NavyCanDo

Yeah me too.


8 posted on 12/04/2006 6:20:28 AM PST by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: NYer

Declaration that this is the 1,217th holiest site in Islam -- and that all non-Muslims, especially Joooos, must never set foot there ever again -- in 5, 4, 3...


9 posted on 12/04/2006 6:21:24 AM PST by piytar
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: FrPR

Thanks for the reference!


12 posted on 12/04/2006 6:23:42 AM PST by maryz
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To: 1st-P-In-The-Pod; A_Conservative_in_Cambridge; af_vet_rr; agrace; albyjimc2; Alexander Rubin; ...
FRmail me to be added or removed from this Judaic/pro-Israel/Russian Jewry ping list.

Warning! This is a high-volume ping list.

13 posted on 12/04/2006 6:28:33 AM PST by Alouette (Psalms of the Day: 69-71)
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To: Red Badger

Don't forget, Arabs and Jews are really 'blood brothers,' and that's one reason they hate each other. That old Ishmael thing, ya know.


14 posted on 12/04/2006 6:29:30 AM PST by Marysecretary (Thank you, Lord, for FOUR MORE YEARS!!!)
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To: Marysecretary
Genetic studies have shown that Jews are related more closely to Armenians, Turks and Kurds than they are to Arabs. See here.
15 posted on 12/04/2006 6:42:47 AM PST by Pharmboy ([She turned me into a] Newt! in '08)
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To: NYer

More proof that the Bible is the word of God.


16 posted on 12/04/2006 6:43:15 AM PST by Piquaboy (22 year veteran of the Army, Air Force and Navy, Pray for all our military .)
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To: NYer

I would love to visit Israel someday and see the sights.


17 posted on 12/04/2006 6:46:15 AM PST by WV Mountain Mama (Our gingerbread house may not look the greatest, but my kids and I had the greatest time making it!)
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To: FrPR
The website didn't have much about archeology, though I'll go back and read it for the Messianic Jewish info.
18 posted on 12/04/2006 6:46:49 AM PST by madison10 (There is no trial without God's blessing.)
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To: NYer
That's the mosaic? It looks like my kitchen linoleum.

How'd they make them perfect overlapping circles back then?

They didn't use Microsoft Paint, did they?

19 posted on 12/04/2006 6:51:20 AM PST by marshmallow
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To: Red Badger
That is a very Arabesque looking mosaic..........

I think it has more to do with that whole region, than with the Arab people. Sure, the Arabs brought that style with them when they were conquering regions. Spain, for example, has wonderful examples of what was considered Moorish architecture and ornamentation, but I don't think it's exclusively ARAB.

20 posted on 12/04/2006 6:53:23 AM PST by SuziQ
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