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Trench F

LOCATION: the central-eastern part of the complex
DIMENSIONS: ca 4.5 x 7m
INTERPRETATION: the easternmost part of the southern aisle of the church and the southern half of the bema (altar podium) of the sanctuary

DESCRIPTION: the excavations revealed a multi-phase occupation which lasted during the active use of the church, and during the post-ecclesiastical periods. The floor of the aisle and the nave - large marble slabs - was apparently in use during all these phases. Initially, the roofing system, as detected in this trench, included internal E-W colonnade but that was later replaced by the free-standing pillars supporting E-W arches, and finally, by transversal (N-S) arches. Initially, the bema appears to have been a low podium sheated with marble slabs and including marble chancel screens. Later, the bema appears to have been replaced by a masonry construction of a low, all-round plastered bench or "counter-like" structure which in turn became a low wall at least partially separating the sanctuary from the other parts of the church.

FINDS: ceramics dated to the 4th-5th, possibly early 6th centuries A.D., fragments of decorated marble vessels and furniture.