A church – complete with decadent mosaics that date back to the early Christian church - has been unearthed in the West Bank.
It’s believed the church was built in the Sixth Century, and is around 250m in size.
Parts of the church – including the nave – are almost completely preserved despite an earthquake destroying large swathes of the area in the Seventh Century.
Mosaic installations show vines and animal figures, and an inscription above the entrance naming the men behind the build is still legible.
The discovery was made near to Jericho by the Civil Administration, the Israeli governing body.
The head of the Civil Administration's archeology department Hananiah Hizami said: “I am excited about the amazing historical find, that joins a number of discoveries made by the Civil Administration’s archeology department. We’ll continue to work to discover and preserve the history of Judea and Samaria.”
Archaeologists have noted the extravagance of the design; the building contains materials that are not native to the area and have likely been transported a considerable way, suggesting the building was not inexpensive, and the builders were not afraid to splash some cash when designing it.
The mosaic will now be replicated and placed in the Good Samaritan museum.