Ancient Church Found at Israeli Prison

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A mosaic featuring fish surrounded by geometric patterns decorates the floor of what archaeologists said on Sunday could be the oldest Christian church in Israel. The ruins of the church, which was likely built in the third or fourth century A.D., were recently discovered on the grounds of Megiddo Prison in northern Israel.

"What's clear today is that it's the oldest archaeological remains of a church in Israel, maybe even in the entire region," Yotam Tepper, the excavation's head archaeologist, told the Associated Press.

But other experts remain skeptical. Anthropologist Joe Zias, a former curator at the Israel Antiquities Authority, questions the date of the find. Zias told the Associated Press that there is no evidence that Christians built churches before the fourth century.

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Photograph by David Silverman/Getty Images
 
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