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The World's Oldest Church – Bible, Art, and Ritual at Dura-Europos, Syria - Yale Scholarship Online
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The World's Oldest Church: Bible, Art, and Ritual at Dura-Europos, Syria

Michael Peppard


In 1932, at an ancient military outpost on the Euphrates, excavators unearthed a series of wall paintings. A procession of veiled women, a soldier with sword drawn, a woman at a well. The space was designed for religious rituals, but whose? As a crossroads for travelers, the city of Dura-Europos had buildings honoring gods of Greece, Rome, Persia, and Judea. These archaeologists soon realized, though, that they were looking at the earliest preserved Christian building—a “house church” from about the year 250. The World’s Oldest Church shines a flashlight once again on the murals of the earlies ... More

Keywords: Archaeology, Baptism, Dura-Europos, Early Christian Art, Early Christianity, Ritual, Syria

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780300213997
Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2016 DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300213997.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Michael Peppard, author
Fordham University