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  • Tags: Basilica

14 Items

Chabukauri

Chabukauri is located to the west of Nekresi monastery and lies in the modern territory of that foundation. As at Dolochopi, the large three-church basilica found on the site was once the centre of a substantial settlement that has since been overtaken by forest, although in this case the growth is not as dense as it is in Dolochopi. Also as at Dolochopi, there are various phases to the building. In this case the large church is believed to date to the fourth to fifth centuries and, after the main church was damaged in an earthquake, part of the north-eastern sector of the building was adapted to become the south aisle of a new, smaller building. This smaller church was constructed with two distinctive horseshoe-shaped apses, the larger of which had a synthronon - as at the main church in nearby Dolochopi. Also as at Dolochopi there are medieval kist burials scattered across the site. Finally to the north west of the main church there is a small apses structure, believed to date to the fourth century, that boasts a high quality terracotta tiled floor, suggesting that this too could have been an early church. The main building was roofed by timber beams and terracotta tiles held in place with nails and ante fixes as at Dolochopi and here there was evidence that the walls of the structure were once plastered and painted red.

Type: Archaeological Excavation
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Dolochopi

Excavations at Dolochopi, across the river from the modern town of Kvareli have revealed a large "three-church basilica" that is believed to date to the mid fifth century. The site stands in the centre of what was once a substantial settlement, which appears to have declined steadily after earthquakes and attacks by the Arabs and other invaders, fading into obscurity and being overtaken by the forest by the late middle ages. The basilica is built over an earlier church and, although it declined for the reasons outlined above, the nave and immediate vicinity of the church remained in use for burials. In particular the north-eastern corner of the church which was adapted in the eighth to ninth centuries as a mortuary chapel and seems to have been utilised until at least the twelfth of thirteenth centuries. The church was roofed by wooden beams supporting terracotta tiles that were held in place with iron nails and antefixes - a typically Byzantine design, as were the lighting fixtures discovered at the site. In many other respects, including in the numismatic finds, the complex looks east to the Persian Empire, but the overwhelming evidence suggests that the church is an early example of Georgian vernacular ecclesiastical architecture. One element that stands out is the inclusion of a synthronon, an element of ecclesiastical furnishing hitherto unknown in Georgia except at the nearby archaeological site of Chabukauri.

Type: Archaeological Excavation
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Zegaani

At Zegaani in Kakheti there is a complex of three early churches. The fifth-century church of St. Marina is exceptionally small and its nearest comparable building in terms of design seems to be the tiny church of St. Nino in Samtavro, Mtskheta. The interior of the space is richly frescoed with an (unpublished) sixteenth to seventeenth century fresco cycle, that is currently open to the elements given the lack of windows and doors on the church. There is a simple, single naved church dedicated to the Archangels of an inter determinate date and a large three-church basilica dedicated to the Virgin and of an architectural type very similar to the basilica to the north of the valley at Nekresi. Like the Nekresi basilica, this church is believed to date to the sixth to seventh century. This basilica was in the process of being resorted at the time of the visit as the site was being re-established as a working monastery.

Type: Architecture
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Qal'at Seman 1962

These images of Qal'at Seman, the famous shrine of St. Symeon Stylites the Elder on Jebel Seman are valuable because they are taken midway between the French restoration of the site in the 1930s and the way the site looked in the late 1990s when the majority of the rest of the photographs in this archive were taken. They show the complex to be well maintained, with less visitors (local or foreign) than were customary by the pre war years.

Type: Architecture
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Qalb Lozeh 1962

Qalb Lozeh is, as mentioned elsewhere, an exceptionally well-preserved C5th church on Jebel Barisha and is probably the best known monument in the region after Qal'at Sem'an. These images show that in 1962 there was already a modern village around the church, but that it was not as large as the settlement had become by the early C21st century. The photographs can be compared with those from the 1990s to show that in the 1960s there were no restrictions on entry and the building was open to all. In this case there appears to have been no deterioration of the site pre the Syrian Civil War since the 1960s.

Type: Architecture
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Palmyra Basilica

Very little evidence of a large Christian presence in Palmyra has yet been discovered. This picture shows what is thought to be one of several basilicas in the north-western quarter of the city.

Type: Archaeological Site
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Dayr es Salib

The basilica at Dayr es Salib has an almost square floorplan and is believed to date to the C5th-C6th. The remains of a Greek-style ambon and a cruciform baptismal font are still in situ at the site.

Type: Architecture
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Hawwarin

Hawwarin was known as Evaria in late antiquity and is recorded as being the seat of two bishoprics. It appears to date from the Roman era as there is extensive evidence of Roman spolia in the Byzantine remains in the town. The local population talk of there having been seven basilicas in the settlement and evidence of three of these is still extant, although only one has been excavated thus far - by a Syrian team led by Wedad Khoury of the DGAM. The Roman dressed limestone blocks were carried to the site from some distance away as there are no quarries in the vicinity of the town and the modern dwellings are mud brick or cement. At the centre of the settlement is the mysterious "burj" or tower, which local people believe to have been part of an Umayyad hunting lodge, but which is built with Roman spoil and may well date from the Byzantine period as its nearest equivalent structure is the C6th stone tower at Qasr al-Hayr al-Gharbi. However, unlike the Qasr and neighbouring Khans/Caravanserai this tower has entrances to both the north and south rather than the single entrance that is the norm for such structures.

Type: Architecture
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Basilica, Aspendos

Built in the 3rd century AD the substantial Basilica at Aspendos was positioned atop the acropolis plateau of the city where many of the city's other important buildings were situated.

Type: Architecture
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South Basilica, Side

Situated towards the southernmost point of the peninsular that Side occupies this Basilica was built in the 5th century AD usurping and partly building over the sites of the older Temples Apollo and Athena. The large basilica was destroyed in the 7th century and a smaller church was built within.

Type: Architecture
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