The Vatican ambassador to Israel, Archbishop
Pietro Sambi, hails the discovery of the first Christian church
in history as extremely important for all Christians world-wide.
Ambassador Sambi was reacting to the news that Israeli archeologists
uncovered remains of the church at Megiddo in the Jezreel
The ruins date from a period that preceded
the crucifix as the official ecclesiastical emblem. The archeologists
uncovered a spectacular mosaic floor. Most of the mosaic was
covered with fish-shaped decorations, which are known to be
the symbol of early Christianity. One of the inscriptions
read that the building was dedicated to the memory of the
Lord Jesus Cristos.
The Megiddo area is known to be a rich terrain
for archeological finds from different historical periods.
The structure was revealed with the help of dozens of the
1,200 high-security prisoners held in the facility.
Dr. Yotam Tefer, the digs supervisor, said
that Christian religious buildings from that period are rare
archeological finds in the Land of Israel. Mosaics in general
and mosaics with inscriptions from the third and fourth centuries
CE in particular, are the rarest of all. Moreover, this unique
structure is important for a basic understanding of Christianity.