Jordan -- By: Anonymous
BSP 12:3 (Summer 1999) p. 87
Konstantinos Politis, of the Department of Medieval and Later Antiquities of the British Museum in London, excavated a Byzantine church in the Edomite mountains on the shore of the southern Ghor of the Dead Sea from 1988 through 1996. He concluded that it is the site of the Sanctuary of Holy Lot identified on the sixth century AD mosaic floor map at Madaba in Jordan. It was constructed in front of a cave with evidence of occupation from the Early Bronze Age, the general period of Abraham and Lot.
The site is located at the southeastern end of the Dead Sea (map reference: E 197.9; N 052.77) on a steep mountain slope overlooking the modem town of Safi (Biblical Zoar). It is accurately depicted as the Sanctuary of Agios (= “Saint” in Greek) Lot next to Zoara on the Madaba map.
The existence of Deir ‘Ain ‘Abata (= “monastery at the abbot’s spring” in Arabic) was first officially reported in 1986, by B. MacDonald during his survey of the area. The following year the author began a systematic survey of the site and in 1988 he started an excavation project supported by the British Museum which continued until 1996.
The Sanctuary of Agios Lot consists of a Byzantine monastic complex with a number of hermits’ cells above it.
BSP 12:3 (Summer 1999) p. 88
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