1600 Year-Old Basilica Discovered Underwater at Site of Council of Nicaea

Aleteia, Zelda Caldwell: The remains of a 1,600-year-old Byzantine basilica have been discovered at the site of the Councils of Nicaea, at the bottom of a lake in northwest Turkey.

“We have found church remains. It is in a basilica plan and has three naves,” said Mustafa Şahin, an archaeology professor at Bursa Uludağ University, told Hurriyet News. Read the rest here.

  • je suis voltaire?

    The article fails to note that in addition to the traditional triple nave, the sanctuary in the apse is clearly delineated from the nave. In fact, there appears to be an architectural barrier between the apse and the nave that would serve as base for an altar rail/rood cross/iconostasis. The same structure is visible even today in the catacombs of St. Domitilla in the basilica of Sts. Nereus and Achilleus (May 12 in traditional liturgy). In other words, in the 4th century when the Church was just emerging from the catacombs, the structure of the liturgical space and thus of the liturgy itself was already in place. I would also be willing to bet that the basilica itself is constructed ad Orientem, with priest and people thus facing in the same direction and thus not the Vatican II versus populum assembly.

  • Thank you for the insight. This is fascinating from a liturgical and historic perspective.