6 November 2005

Discovered under a maximum security prison: oldest Christian Church in the Holy Land

Israeli officials say they have discovered what may be the oldest Christian Church in the Holy Land - on the site of a maximum security prison.

Israel's Antiquities Authority said the church at the Megiddo jail dated back to the third or fourth century AD and was "a once in a lifetime find".

It contained a mosaic bearing the name of Jesus Christ in ancient Greek, fish murals and an altar, officials said.

The dig took place near the biblical site of Armageddon in northern Israel. Source: BBC news, world edition)

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