Israel is in news these days for many historical and archaeological reasons. Recently researchers have discovered a Roman structure during a regular excavation in Tel Ashkelon national park area near the Mediterranean coast. According to scholars, this Roman structure is an ancient Roman basilica. The archaeologists have dated it to 2000 years old as per its archaeological and architectural features. If researchers are factually true then the structure is surely contemporary to Jesus Christ.
According to the Israel Antiquities Authority, the structure was accidentally discovered during an excavation for a renovation work of the Tel Ashkelon national park and its ancient monuments. The authority also confirmed the discovery of the ancient Odeon (theatre) in their Facebook post. As per their data, the discovered basilica is the largest of its kind in Israel. They have also promised that the site will be open for the public and tourists after the completion of the renovation, construction, and conservation & restoration work.
The approximate size of the structure is 115 X 34 meters. According to the archaeological evidence, the basilica was renovated during the Roman Severan Dynasty in the 2nd and 3rd Cen. CE and a small theatre was added to the entire structure. Some Herodian coins have been also discovered from the floor of the structure.
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The structure of the basilica consists of a roof, marble columns, and column capitals. The roof comprises 3 parts and the height of a single column is 13 meters. According to the researchers, the marble might be imported from Asia Minor. Column capitals have motifs of plants.
Historically, a basilica was considered an important architectural structure in ancient Roman society. It was a place of celebrations of festivals, trades, and social gatherings during roman times. Later on, these basilica structures in the whole Mediterranean and Europe becomes the symbol of a large Christian church.