During the Byzantine period, the first Christian period in Israel’s history, churches will built all over the Holyland. Many of these churches have been excavated, including The Church of the Glorious Martyr.
Benyamin Storchan was the Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist assigned to a salvage excavation at the site of a new neighborhood near Beit Shemesh, 15 miles southwest of Jerusalem. On these programs he explains why he was surprised that such a large and ornate church was found at this location.
Some beautiful mosaics were found, including inscriptions that helped date the church. There’s no identification to tell us who was “the glorious martyr.” But Storchan has his ideas. Even though mosaics flourished in the Byzantine period, some have been found that are 1,000 years older.