Thursday, June 12, 2008


Report from dailymail:

Jordan archaeologists have unearthed what could be the world's oldest church dating back 2,000 years.

Resembling scenes out of an Indiana Jones movie, scientists explored the underground cavern and discovered a cave underneath the church which they believe it is an even more ancient site of Christian worship than the church site above it.

Archaeologist Abdel-Qader Hussein, head of the Rihab Center for Archaeological Studies, Abdul Qader al-Husan told The Jordan Times:'We have uncovered what we believe to be the first church in the world, dating from 33 AD to 70 AD.

'We have evidence to believe this church sheltered the early Christians - the 70 disciples of Jesus Christ.'

Mr Hussein said there was evidence that the underground cave was used in the first century after Christ's death, which would make it the oldest Christian site of worship in the world.

The cave was unearthed in the northern Jordanian city of Rihab after three months of excavation and shows evidence of early Christian rituals.

It lies under St. Georgeous church, which was built in 230 A.D.

But Thomas Parker, a historian at the University of North Carolina-Raleigh, who led the discovery of the church in Aqaba, said that while he hadn't seen the Rihab site, any such claim should be taken with a degree of caution.

'An extraordinary claim like this requires extraordinary evidence,' he said.

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