A Byzantine Church at Archelais

Sidebar to: Archelaus Builds Archelais

Three layers of mosaic floor were found adorning a Byzantine basilical church. The lowest layer was simple and white, followed by a colored mosaic layer with geometric designs. The top layer, shown here, was more fanciful, with colored geometric and floral motifs, flowers and vases and dedicatory inscriptions.

The church was entered through a columned narthex leading into the nave (1). A bema, a raised platform, separated the nave from the apse where the altar stood. A stone cross found at the site (2) probably once sat on the roof high atop the church.

“Lord, remember Lukas the priest, because this room was paved at his expense,” reads the mosaic (3) on the floor of a chapel to the right of the bema. There were five Greek mosaic inscriptions decorating the floor, all dedicated to priests and benefactors.

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