The excellent condition of a newly discovered 13th-century chapel has stirred hopes among archaeologists that an entire city may be largely intact underground.
After some 800 years as an important pilgrimage site in the Byzantine Empire it vanished — buried under 18 feet of mud from the rampaging Myros River.
But now, 700 years later, Myra is reappearing.
Archaeologists first detected the ancient city in 2009 using ground-penetrating radar that revealed anomalies whose shape and size suggested walls and buildings. Over the next two years they excavated a small, stunning 13th-century chapel sealed in an uncanny state of preservation. Carved out of one wall is a cross that, when sunlit, beams its shape onto the altar.
The Byzantine Empire was the predominantly Greek-speaking continuation of the Roman Empire during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Its capital city was Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul), originally known as Byzantium.
The Byzantine Empire (or Byzantium) was the predominantly Greek-speaking Eastern Roman Empire throughout Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Known simply as the Roman Empire (Greek: Βασιλεία Ῥωμαίων, Basileia Rhōmaiōn) or Romania (Ῥωμανία, Rhōmanía) by its contemporaries, the empire was centered on the capital of Constantinople and was ruled by emperors in direct succession to the ancient Roman emperors after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire.
The West Australian Hoard of Byzantine treasure unearthed in Jerusalem The West Australian An ancient trove of gold jewellery and coins believed to date back to the seventh century has been discovered in Israel.
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