(Photo by Todd Trapani on Unsplash)

(HAARETZ) — People of yore were deeply religious, it seems – including in Hippos (Sussita) of the Decapolis, a Greco-Roman city perched high above the Sea of Galilee.

No less than seven churches have been found in the city from the early Christian era. Now, four inscriptions newly discovered in one of its ancient churches – the Martyrion of Theodoros, or “Burnt Church” – during the summer 2022 excavation season shed rare personal light on actual people. So say excavation directors Dr. Arleta Kowalewska and Dr. Michael Eisenberg of the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at the University of Haifa, and epigraphist Prof. Gregor Staab of the Institute of Classical Studies at University of Cologne.

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Two of the four inscriptions, revealed here for the first time, were exposed by the expedition conservator Yana Qedem while conserving previously found mosaics in the Martyrion. They were quite the surprise.

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