The online website of Haaretz has an article about the continuing excavations at the site of the abandoned Roman and Byzantine city of Hippos in the Decapolis above the eastern shore of Lake Galilee.
The site has already yielded a rich collection of seven early churches and the recent excavations in one of them, the Martyrion of Theodoros, have now revealed mosaics with memorial inscriptions which offer something of the personal history of those being commemorated. In some instances they give the year, according to the local calendar, of the
construction of the churches which clearly adds further information about the history of the community.
These discoveries provide a fascinating and stimulating glimpse of church life in the sixth century, one that was lively and which we can comprehend. There are as well indications of links to mainstream Byzantine culture and the place within it of a provincial artistic style and also the emergence of a local patois, displacing to some extent the Greek of more formal usage.
The illustrated online post, which has links to other related articles about the excavations at the site of Hippos, can be seen at new-inscriptions-in-roman-city-in-israel-shed-personal-light-on-early-christians