Religion: Discovery at Shavei

Oil is not the only treasure that lies beneath the timeless sands of the Middle East. Temples, churches, palaces and whole cities wait for the digging; the finds of the past decade—at Harran and Arzawa in Turkey and Dura Europos in Syria—indicate how much more is to come. This week the government of Israel was opening to tourists the latest major discovery: the remains of one of the earliest Christian churches in the world.

Four years ago, the German Jews in the red-roofed little settlement called Shavei Zion, on the rocky Mediterranean coast between...

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