Beit 'Anun (Bethennim) - SE slope Church (Central Church)

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Architectural Evolution
Phase name (as published): 
Stage 1
General outline: 
Basilical church with open courtyard, narthex and internal apse flanked by lockable pastophoria. The floors were paved with mosaics, into which inscriptions 1 and 2 were inserted. A third inscription (in the narthex) apparently also belonged to this phase.
Dating material: 

The dating to late 4th-early 5th century CE is based on construction mode, architectural members, mosaic style and the early inscriptions 1 and 2 (Segni 2021: 169-170). In Sub-phase A the "Inscriptions Hall" was built to the north of the courtyard, obliterating two pilasters of the narthex.

Phase date
Century: 
5th c.
Within century: 
Early
Subphases
Subphase A Date
5th c.
Iconoclastic evidence
Iconoclastic evidence: 
No
Phase name (as published): 
Stage 2
General outline: 
In this stage the floors of the basilica and the narthex were elevated by 0.7-1m, and its facade was rebuilt to match the new elevations. A chapel with a square room on its west was attached to the basilica on the north. The lockable northern pastophorium was transformed to an open baptisterium. The new mosaics suggest a 6th c. date.
Dating material: 

Masaics style.

Phase date
Century: 
6th c.
Iconoclastic evidence
Iconoclastic evidence: 
Yes
Dating material: 

Traces of iconoclasm suggest that the church continued to be in use at least until the middle of the 8th century. It is possible that like other churches in the Hebron Hills it was damaged during the earthquake of 749 CE and therefore was abandoned. The church was rebuilt later, during the Crusades period.

Phase date
Century: 
8th c.
Within century: 
Mid
Iconoclastic evidence
Iconoclastic evidence: 
Yes
Iconoclastic evidence comments: 
In the second quarter of the 8th century the zoomorphic figures of the second phase mosaic floor were replaced by crudely made floral designs.
Conclusions: 
It was suggested that the reason for building Stage 2 church was winter inundations that affected Stage 1 church due to its bad-calculated location on a steep slope. An unspecified period of desertion separated between the two stages. After the abandonment the church it was rebuilt during the Crusader's period.