Byzantine church dating back 1,300 years discovered at foot of Mount Tabor in Galilee, Israel

GALILEE, Israel — Archaeologists unearthed a 1,300-year-old Byzantine church at the foot of Mount Tabor in Galilee, Israel. Galilee, according to the New Testament, is the place of Christ’s Transfiguration.

The Kinneret Academic College stated that their excavation work in Galilee resulted in the discovery of a Byzantine church dating back 1,300 years in the town of Kfar Kama.

“The church is 36 m. long and 12 m. wide,” stated the head of the excavation team. “It is characterized by the presence of three prayer windows, which are decorated ornamental portions dedicated for prayers, whereas churches of that period traditionally only have one window.”

Researchers believe that the church was part of a monastery built in the vicinity of the town.

Since the beginning of the Byzantine era, Christians have considered this place as sacred, believing that it is the location of Christ’s Transfiguration.

The excavation team noted that the pottery found at the site indicates that the church was built in the 6th century, when many churches were built in Galilee.

Archaeologists also discovered a colorful mosaic floor and geometric patterns with red and blue tiles. The relics of an unknown saint were also uncovered, but scientists have not yet been able to determine to which saint they belong. The relics were located in a small stone box found in the site.

The excavation work is part of an archaeological research project on churches in the Holy Land in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Mosaic floor of the ancient church. (Image: Alex Wiegmann / Israel Antiquities Authority)