Nearly 1,700-year-old Church found in Shiloh, Israel

Church remains in Tel Shiloh illustration 
By: Shifra Unger

An ancient Church was accidentally discovered in the Israeli controlled West Bank city of Shiloh, the Biblical land of Samaria, according to press reports in Israel.

One of the oldest churches ever to be excavated in Israel was recently discovered at the archaeological site of Tel Shiloh, where the temporary Jewish Temple once stood, in Samaria.

The church, dating from the fourth century CE, was discovered at the site believed that once housed the Ark of the Covenant of the ancient Israelis. The discovery has created much excitement among Christians.

The many visitors who came to see the excavations at the site of Tel Shiloh during Passover last month were first told of the discovery, and it was accidental.

The church was discovered when rainwater, which was abundant during this winter, accumulated inside the ancient shrine in the archaeological site. In efforts to prevent water damage to the shrine, workers at the site decided to dig a drainage ditch.

Workers digging the ditch accidentally discovered three mosaics which had been incredibly preserved, which led to the discovery of the ancient church of three rooms.

“This is very exciting news, as this is just another piece of evidence that points to the ancient Israelis living in the West Bank, where Palestinian want to claim as their homeland,” Jerry Grant, 49, of Atlanta, Georgia told after learning about the discovery.