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36 Collections

Dura Europos

Dura Europos is located on the west bank of the River Euphrates and was at the border of the Roman and Persian Empires in the ancient world. In 256 the city was abandoned by the Romans and, because they had built up earth ramparts along the walls, a number of buildings in that sector of the city had remained almost perfectly preserved.
In the early C20th the ruins were rediscovered and spectacularly revealed a synagogue with figural frescoes that entirely changed our understanding of Jewish Art. In addition fragments of fresco in another, more modest building revealed it to be the earliest securely dated place of Christian worship yet discovered and our only known example still extant of an early Christian house-church.

Creator: Emma Loosley
Contributor: Emma Loosley
Rights: Metadata and all media released under Creative CommonsCreative Commons BY-NC-SA unless otherwise indicated
Type: Archaeology

Early Christian Archaeology in Georgia

Despite the attention paid by historians and art historians to the standing early Christian architecture still extant in Georgia, early Christian archaeology remains a relatively under-explored area in the country, with few people working on the field. This means that in many ways very little is known about the evolution of Christianity in Georgia as all the current ideas rest on art historical and textual analysis. Several recent excavations are casting new light on this period and suggest that current assumptions about the spread of early Christianity in Georgia may be flawed.

Creator: Emma Loosley
Contributor: Emma Loosley
Rights: Metadata and all media released under Creative CommonsCreative Commons BY-NC-SA unless otherwise indicated
Type: Archaeology

Edessa/Urfa/Şanliurfa

Photographs taken on fieldwork in the city of Şanliurfa, Turkey in November 2012. The city was formerly known as Urfa and held the older name of Edessa. As the birthplace of the Syriac language, it was an early centre of Christianity. After the Council of Chalcedon in 451, Edessa became the centre of non-Chalcedonian Christianity and the purpose of the fieldwork was to investigate any evidence of Christianity still extant in Şanliurfa.

Contributor: Emma Loosley
Peter Leeming
Rights: Metadata and all media released under Creative CommonsCreative Commons BY-NC-SA unless otherwise indicated

Erzurum

Erzurum is one of the largest provinces in Turkey and the capital city, Erzurum, has been valued and utilised for strategic purposes for many centuries and has been heavily contested. It still has major military installations in and around the city.
This collection only contains images of the citadel at Erzurum taken in May 2015.

Creator: Joshua Bryant
Date of Visit: 14th May 2015
Contributor: Joshua Bryant
Rights: Metadata and all media released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA International licence unless otherwise indicated

Galilee

The Sea of Galilee, located in northern Israel, is dotted with sites that are traditionally associated with the early life and ministry of Jesus Christ. These holy places were venerated throughout Late Antiquity and many were enshrined with richly decorated chapels and churches. This collection of photographs was taken during fieldwork in Israel over July - August 2013. The aim of this resource is to document, in photographs, the early churches and pilgrimage sites from the area of Galilee.

Creator: Lucy O'Connor
Date of Visit: 1st July to 8th August 2013
Contributor: Lucy O'Connor
Rights: Metadata and all media released under Creative CommonsCreative Commons BY-NC-SA unless otherwise indicated
Type: Architecture

Halabiyeh/Zenobia

The hill on which Halabiyeh's citadel rests is presumably the main reason for Halabiyeh's construction. The hill dominates the western bank of the Euphrates at the point where the river valley is significantly narrowed by the plateaus either side of the river. The towns' massive walls run down from the citadel to the riverbank effectively blocking passage along the western bank at this point.

Creator: Joshua Bryant
Date of Visit: August 2010
Contributor: Joshua Bryant and Emma Loosley
Rights: Metadata and all media released under Creative CommonsCreative Commons BY-NC-SA unless otherwise indicated
Type: Architecture

Homs and its hinterland

Homs is the modern name for the ancient Syrian city of Emesa. In the late second century CE a local woman named Julia Domna married Septimus Severus, the future Roman Emperor, and so in the third century several Severan Emperors were born and raised in the city. They were followers of the local cult to the god Elagabal and the most scandalous Emperor of this line was popularly known as Elagabalus.
To the east of the city, south of the road to Palmyra (Tadmor) are a cluster of Christian villages and towns that terminate with Qaryatayn as the most south-easterly settlement in the group to have a Christian presence. The percentages involved in the mix of religions varies from Qaryatayn (about 20% Christian) up until villages like Sadad (almost 100% Christian).

Creator: Emma Loosley
Contributor: Emma Loosley
Rights: Metadata and all media released under Creative CommonsCreative Commons BY-NC-SA unless otherwise indicated
Type: Architecture

Jerusalem

The ancient city of Jerusalem is located at the heart of the Holy Land and lies in the Judean Hills with the Dead Sea to the East and the Mediterranean to the West in modern-day Israel. It has spiritual significance to followers of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. According to tradition, Jerusalem is where Solomon built his great temple, it is the place of Christ’s Passion and where the Prophet Muhammad visited on his Night Journey. Its history has long been (and unfortunately still is) a very turbulent one and its holy sites have long been fiercely fought over.
In terms of Jerusalem in the New Testament narratives, during the final week of His life Christ made His triumphal entry into the city upon an ass. Christ gathered together His Disciples for a Passover meal on Mount Zion at what is referred to as the Last Supper. The Garden of Gethsemane was the place Christ prayed whilst over-looking the holy city and where he was later arrested. He was tried before Pontius Pilate, Crucified on Golgotha and His body was entombed nearby. Following the Resurrection, He Ascended into Heaven from the Mount of Olives.
Pilgrims began to venerate these sites in the years immediately following His death. However, it was only by the fourth century and with the legalisation of the religion under the Emperor Constantine I that these holy sites were rediscovered. Constantine endowed churches built at the sites of the Crucifixion and Resurrection (the church of the Holy Sepulchre) and the site of the Ascension (the Eleona on the Mount of Olives). Vast numbers of pilgrims soon began to visit the city of Jerusalem to see, touch and venerate these holy sites. Whilst a great deal of the ancient city’s fabric is still extant, very little of its Late Antique history is visible to pilgrims and tourists today. Much of it lies beneath the modern city, which has sadly been built upon in recent years.

Creator: Lucy O'Connor
Date of Visit: 1st July to 8th August 2013, 8th October to 6th November 2014
Contributor: Lucy O'Connor
Rights: Metadata and all media released under Creative CommonsCreative Commons BY-NC-SA unless otherwise indicated
Type: Architecture

Kars

Kars Province is situated in the far east of modern day Turkey in the northern half of the region. It borders modern day Armenia and lies with Georgia to the north in close proximity. In antiquity and until the 20th century the area was an important region for the Armenian people who inhabited it. The most impressive relic of the Armenian peoples in the region is the ancient abandoned city of Ani. The modern provincial capital, Kars, preceded Ani as an Armenian capital. The region was bitterly contested by the Russian and Ottoman Empires in the 19th century. Kars still exhibits some signs of its Russian past in the style of some of its architecture.
This file contains some images of the Cathedral of Kars taken in May 2015. Ani, while in Kars province, is considered in its own separate collection.

Creator: Joshua Bryant
Date of Visit: 16th May 2015
Contributor: Joshua Bryant

Khevsureti

Khevsureti is located in the high Caucasus north of Tbilisi bordered to the west by the Military Highway leading to Stepantsminda and the Russian border and abutting Tusheti to the east, although the two mountain cultures can only reach each other on foot or on horseback in the summer months by crossing the Atsunta Pass. The Khevsurs are known, like the Tushes, for their pagan culture and they are renowned for their traditional handicrafts. They are famous for their beautiful hand-stitched tunics worn by both men and women in which cross motifs play a prominent part. Khevsurs are legendary in Georgia for the fact that their men wore chain mail well into the C20th and, like the Tushes, they managed to retain their traditional pagan faith well into the modern era, although it is now being supplanted by Christianity. The upper region of Khevsureti beyond the Datvisjvari (Bear-Cross) Pass is cut off from the rest of the country in the winter, although the villages south of the pass are accessible throughout the year. As with Svaneti and Tusheti, Khevsureti has its own distinctive form of defensive tower architecture and the two most complete examples of this can be seen at Shatili and Mutso, both north of the Datvisjvari pass near the border with Chechnya.

Creator: Emma Loosley
Contributor: Emma Loosley
Rights: Metadata and all media released under Creative CommonsCreative Commons BY-NC-SA unless otherwise indicated
Type: Architecture