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Trench C

Trench C

LOCATION: the eastern edge of the complex
DIMENSIONS: ca. 7 x 3.80 m
INTERPRETATION: the south half of the apse and the chancel area of the chapel

DESCRIPTION: in addition to the apse's wall, a well preserved 3-shelved cupboard was exposed in the SE corner of the trench. The excavations revealed that the apse area had at least two major phases of ocupation, associated with two floor levels. The following are associated with the later phase: the bema platform in front of the apse, and a large masonry-built pedestal, probably for an altar, located in the center of the bema, right on the apse's chord. The empty space inside the pedestal could initially have housed religious objects or relics. Later, the area was partially abandoned and the following incidents took place there: robbing out of marble floor, storing of stone tesserae and marble fragments in the cupboard, and finally, dumping of material from other areas.

FINDS: a marble fragment found directly in front of the masonry pedestal, which preserved four Greek letters reading ARVN (Aron). Also, Nabataean ceramics (1st century B.C. - 1st century A.D.), ceramics dated to the 4th-6th centuries A.D., some Early Islamic glazed ware, Umayyad-period lamps dated to the 2nd half of the 7th century A.D., and fragments of marble furniture.

Text: Zbigniew T. Fiema