Biblical Archaeology Review 33:2, March/April 2007

Inscribed “To God Jesus Christ”

Early Christian Prayer Hall Found in Megiddo Prison

By Vassilios Tzaferis

In the late 1990s, authorities at the prison that sits near the base of Tel Megiddo in northern Israel decided they needed more room. Accordingly, an addition was planned within the prison compound and work commenced. It was not long, however, before the construction workers (prisoners) hit ancient remains. Work on the prison extension was immediately stopped and the Israel Antiquities Authority notified. A so-called salvage, or rescue excavation was organized under the direction of archaeologist Yotam Tepper, and the archaeologists were soon in the field. (The prisoners also helped; Tepper dedicates his popular pamphlet on

the excavation “to the inmates of the Megiddo and Zalmon Prisons whose personal circumstances brought us together in the excavation and without whose dedicated work we could not have exposed the remains at the site.”)

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