The rediscovery of a Byzantine capital, reused as a baptismal font, in the Nativity Church, Bethlehem

Variant title
Zpráva o objevu byzantské hlavice, která byla použita jako křtitelnice v Chrámu Narození Páně v Betlémě
Author: Bacci, Michele
Source document: Convivium. 2019, vol. 6, iss. 2, pp. [122]-127
  • ISSN
    2336-3452 (print)
    2336-808X (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license
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The present text provides a preliminary report on a recent, exceptional discovery in the Nativity church, Bethlehem, Palestine. In June 2019, when the restorers of Piacenti group removed the filling materials from the interior of the sixth-century octagonal baptismal font located in the southern aisle of the church nave, another, smaller font was discovered inside. The latter can be dated from either the late sixth or early seventh century and, on dimensional, formal, and functional grounds, is identical with a Byzantine capital preserved in the Islamic Museum on Jerusalem's Haram es-Sharif. The circumstances under which the latter was transformed into a baptismal font will be further elucidated through a systematic analysis of the findings emerged from the archaeological soundings that took place in the last week of August 2019.
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