Byzantine Era Church Discovered in Jerusalem Highway Expansion

June 12, 2015  (Source:

Road workers expanding the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway found the ruins of a Byzantine-era way station and church near the entrance to a town just west of the capital, Antiquities Authority officials said on Wednesday.

The way station and church, which were found together with a still older Roman-era road, are located near a spring called Ein Naqa’a, which apparently served as their water source.

A statement from the IAA said the find, uncovered outside the town of Abu Ghosh, was thought to be about 1,500 years old. The site would be preserved in consultation with the highway company, the IAA said.

The 16-meter-long (52 feet) church building has a side chapel 6.5 meters long and 3.5 meters wide, with a floor tiled in white mosaic.

A baptismal font shaped like a four-leaf clover, symbolizing the cross, is located in the northeastern corner.

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