Israeli archaeologists said Saturday they have discovered what may be the oldest Christian church in the Holy Land on the grounds of a prison near the biblical site of Armageddon.
The Israeli Antiquities Authority said the ruins are believed to date back to the third or fourth centuries and include references to Jesus and images of fish, an ancient Christian symbol.
The dig took place over the past 18 months at the Megiddo prison in Israel’s northern Galilee region, with the most significant discoveries taking place in the past two weeks, Tepper said. Scholars believe Megiddo to be the New Testament’s Armageddon, the site of a final war between good and evil.
This picture taken on Oct. 31, 2005 and released by the Israeli Antiquities Authority shows a mosaic with writing in ancient Greek with references to Christ, on the floor of what is believed to be the oldest church in Israel that was recently discovered in the grounds inside the Megiddo prison, near the biblical site of Armageddon, in central Israel and reported by Israel’s Channel 2 TV Saturday Nov. 5, 2005. The ruins are believed to date back 1,700 years, and include references to Jesus and images of fish, the report said. Archaeological experts quoted in the story said it was the largest church ever discovered in the holy land, and could perhaps turn out to be the oldest church in the world.(AP Photo/Israel Antiquities Authority) (AP)