Israeli archeologists uncover ancient church

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MOSHAV ALUMA, Israel (AP) — Israeli archeologists say they have uncovered the remnants of a 1,500-year-old church dating back to the Byzantine era.

The Israel Antiquities Authority says the site was found during typical excavation work that took place before a planned construction of a new neighborhood in southern Israel. Among the finds were a colorful mosaic and five inscriptions that attest to a once-vibrant Christian community in the region.

A pottery workshop was also found that yielded cooking pots, bowls and lamps.

Daniel Varga, who directed the excavations on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said Wednesday that he found an inscription in Greek containing the names Mary and Jesus.

Following the find, authorities have decided to preserve the site for future generations.

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