Christian Sites That Have Disappeared

Picture of RuinsOver the centuries and with the various groups that have conquered the land, Palestine Christian sites have often suffered desecration, destruction, and burial. Even other religious and political sites have been victims of conquering groups. For example, the Romans built a temple over the area where Christians believed the crucifixion and resurrection took place as a way to obliterate it. The Christians believed this was the holy site and decided that they would build churches there when the Romans were conquered. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher stands there now joining two older churches.

There are other cases where archeologists bulldozed over Christian sites in search of earlier sites. Beit Shan was a major Christian town but in an effort to find an earlier Hebrew site, the top layers were cleaned away and there is on display the remains of an earlier Hebrew town.

Har Homa, a Jewish settlement on the road from Jerusalem to Bethlehem was constructed recently over a forested hill which contained several ancient Christian monasteries. It was the center of many protests because the forested hill was the only major wooded place in the area.

Other examples include:

An ancient Armenian church which is now a ruin under a highway in Jerusalem.

The Kathisma, which is outside of Har Homa on the road from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. It had been buried earlier, rediscovered as a road was built for the construction of Har Homa, and then left to the elements after the settlement was finished. It has been mentioned in several archeological studies since it was octagonal with outstanding mosaics and was a remarkable example of early Christian architecture. It was also a place in the folklore about the birth of Jesus. (see Bethlehem Vicinity)

An unsolved murder of a world-famous American archeologist gunned down as he was about to reveal cases of dubious archeology.