Archaeologists reveal 1,700-year-old stone with inscription in southern Israel

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A 1,700-year-old stone with a Greek inscription, referring to the name of the ancient city of Elusa, was discovered in an archaeological excavation in southern Israel, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) reported on Wednesday.

The excavation was led by a delegation of Germany's Cologne and Bonn universities, along with the IAA.

Discovery of an inscription with the name of the ancient city in the site was a rare occurrence.

In addition, a four-meter long and three-aisled Byzantine church was discovered in the site, with an eastward apse, whose vault was originally decorated with a glass mosaic. Its nave was decorated with marble.

The archaeologists also discovered a bathhouse.

Elusa was established towards the end of the fourth century B.C. The city reached its peak in the Byzantine period, when tens of thousands of inhabitants lived there, and it was in fact the only city in the Negev desert in southern Israel. 

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