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Church of Bishop Isaiah

Discovered in 1983, one of 23 Byzantine churches found in the ancient city. A mosaic inscription tells that the church was built in 558/559 AD at the time of Bishop Isaiah. As with other buildings oft his period in Gerasa, it was built using materials reused from Roman constructions. The church's three naves are separated by rows of ionic columns, which were probably taken from the North Decumanus. The rich mosaic floor of this church is quite remarkable, with so much of it quite well preserved. Unfortunately though, the design suffered badly from the iconoclasm of the 8th century when most of the animal and human figures were destroyed.

To the west, an atrium led to the three front entrances. These doors were later blocked and the main entrance transferred to the south side of the church where there was another court with porticoes. The pulpit and chancel, partially preserved at the time of excavation, have not been restored.

This building, like most of the churches in Gerasa, was still in use by a Christian community during the Umayyad period (661 - 750 AD). It seems that, just before the main earthquake that destroyed the city (749 AD), repairs were being made to the walls and the roof of the church.
(From information on site)

© Photo: Haupt & Binder

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