Archaeologists to survey secret Christian pilgrimage site

A team of archaeologists will carry out a surface survey at the ancient site of Aya Tekla, one of the oldest centres of Christianity, located in the southern province of Mersin’s Silifke district in Turkey.

Aya Tekla (AA photo via Hurriyet Daily News)
Aya Tekla (AA photo via Hurriyet Daily News)

The ancient site of Aya Tekla is known as one of the oldest and most important centres for Christianity. Tecla was a saint of the early Christian church and a follower of Paul the Apostle, himself from the nearby town of Tarsus, which has retained the same name since antiquity. The research group consisting of academics and post-graduate students will measure and photograph a cistern structure for the first time. They will also work on two other cisterns that were discovered in previous years. The cave where Tecla lived became a secret pilgrimage site for Christians until 312 AD when Christianity was legalized in the Roman Empire. The cave was then turned into a church in the 4th century.

Inside the Aya Tekla church (DHA photo via Hurriyet Daily News)
Inside the Aya Tekla church (DHA photo via Hurriyet Daily News)

(after Hurriyet Daily News & DHA photo)

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