Khirbet Beit Sila - ST. THEODORE

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Source of knowledge
Epigraphy
Archaeological remains
Surveyed site
Surveyors: 
NameDate
Finkelstein, Lederman and Bunimovitz
1981-1985
Magen and Finkelstein
1993
Excavated site
Excavators: 
NameDate
Batz
1997
Discussion: 
Batz (2012), who excavated the site did not suggest that it had served as a monastery. However, this suggestion was made (Magen and Kagan 2012 I: 260-262, no. 127), probably based on the adjoining structures located to the north and west of the church. The adjoining structures do in fact suggest that this was a monastery. A kitchen and possible refectory, and a second story over this annex seem to point in that direction. Di Segni points out that the inscriptions indicate that the complex was privately built by a priest and his family (Di Segni 2016: 189*). Among the finds were two reliquaries which may indicate a cult of saints and relics. Although not strong evidence, this might lend some support to a monastic identification rather than a privately owned house.
State of certainty: 
Archaeologicaly definitive
Architectural evolution
Phase name (as published): 
Phase II
General outline: 
The complex was constructed in a public building dating to the Second Temple period, making use of the old architecture. It consisted of a basilical church and adjoining structures.
Dating material: 

Pottery and other finds.

Phase date
Century: 
6th c.
Within century: 
Early
Subphases
Subphase A Date
6th c.
General outline: 
Second half of the seventh century CE following the Arab conquest.
Phase date
Century: 
7th c.
Within century: 
Second half
Iconoclastic evidence
Iconoclastic evidence: 
No
Post Arab conquest history: 
Abandoned
Post conquest history comments: 
The structures were used in the Early Islamic and Ayyubid periods. The state of preservation indicates that willful destruction did not take place. Changes were made in the narthex and some burials suggested to have been those of nomads (based on the careless manner of burial) were dug in the atrium's vicinity. The building was used up to the Ayyubid period.