Excavating the Byzantine Church at Tel Kerioth
Dr. Steven Derfler
Executive Director, Educational Resources, Inc.
The Arad Archaeology Center of the Israeli Antiquities Authority, Hamline University of St. Paul MN, and Educational Resources, Inc. of St. Paul MN, excavated the Byzantine Church at Tel Kerioth. It is located at the foot of Mt. Amassa, at the southern end of the Judean Hills, overlooking the Arad Basin. During these summers, a total of 96 volunteers and students from around the world and Israel participated in this project.
The site of Tel Kerioth is perhaps the hometown of one of the disciples of Jesus (Yehuda, ish Kriyot). The church was apparently built after the earthquake of 363 CE, paralleling other Christian religious structures built in Palestine after this time. The church building’s final destruction came as a result of an earthquake in 747/8 CE.; one that devastated the Jordan River Valley.
An international educational consultant, public speaker, archaeologist, historian, researcher, teacher and writer, Dr. Derfler has been uncovering the histories of Ancient Civilizations for 40 years. Tracing the development of western religions from their roots in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean countries, Dr. Derfler brings insight to current political and social events, bridging the past with the future to promote greater understanding between people from different faiths and walks of life.