The remains of a large 1,300-year-old church were uncovered near Mount Tabor in northern Israel, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) revealed Tuesday.
The location, adjacent to Mount Tabor, is sacred to Christians, who since the early Byzantine era have identified the area as the site of the New Testament account of the transfiguration of Jesus.
Mount Tabor is noted in the books of Mark, Matthew and Luke as the site where Jesus took his disciples Peter, James, and John when they witnessed the face and clothing of their teacher glow with dazzlingly bright light.
IAA archaeologists and Prof. Moti Aviam of the Kinneret Academic College said they believe the compound was likely a monastery, raised just outside the ancient town of modern-day Kfar Kama in the Galilee.
Archaeologist Nurit Feig of IAA described the church’s ornate mosaic floors, as “their colorful decoration stands out, incorporating geometric patterns, and blue, black, and red floral patterns.”
She also noted a “special discovery” of a small reliquary - a stone box used to preserve sacred relics.
Dr. Shani Libbi said that there are additional rooms at the site yet to be excavated which is why “it is quite possible that this large complex was a monastery.”
In 1876, when the Circassian Shapsug tribe first settled in Kfar Kama, they used the stones of the ancient village to build their houses.