The Map: The basic map layer is geographical-historical, presenting the topographical features superimposed with a layer of the network of ancient roads and a layer of the territorial boundaries of the Early Christian bishoprics. A geological layer and a geo-morphological layer can replace the basic topographical layer.

The location of all churches and monasteries are depicted on the map. A zoom-in feature enables clear presentation of minor details. An orange square represents a church, a brown one - a monastery. A click on the square opens a window providing the site name and its geo-location. A double-click on the name links to the particular church or monastery. Churches and monasteries mentioned only in the literary sources, which cannot be located on ground, are not marked on the map.

The application is divided into seven sections:

Churches, Monasteries, Literary Sources, Epigraphy, Architectural Members, Decorations and Bibliography. [set each section highlighted in green as a link that enables jumping to the appropriate paragraph of this page - marked in a green, in accordance; the link for Churches, Monasteries should be one and likewise for Literary sources, Epigraphy; enable jumping back at each end].

Churches and Monasteries: The opening page for each category provides a Table, listing the sites alphabetically. A large settlement (such as Jerusalem, Bethlehem, or the towns of the Negev), may have more than a single church or monastery. The second column in the Table provides the particular name.

The database for a particular church or monastery is divided into the following categories:

--- Name and Type, providing the Site Name, Church / Monastery name and its dedication.

The Church Type is split into two: Functional Type and Architectural Type:

Functional Types:




Martyr’s shrine

Burial (coemiterium)

Architectural Types:

Basilical (mono-apsidal, subdivided into sub-types according to the layout of the “church head” / chevet and tri-apsidal)

Free standing chapel

Double church

Concentric (octagonal or circular)




Ecclesiastical complex


The Monastery Type is split into the following categories according to their location:


Sub Urban





Former fortress, Former farm, Former ruin.


The functional categories are:




Composite 1: laura with a cenobium at its core

Composite 2: cenobium with dispersed cells outside its wall.


Under the Location button the specific location is given on a map and the geographical coordinates are given in ITM, ICS and UTM systems. The location is also specified under the following criteria: Provincial affiliation, bishopric, topographical location etc.


The General Description starts with the State of preservation, which is followed by the Church Parts, from the atrium to the church head. More specific details on structure, including the building materials applied, are provided under the Detailed Description button. Aspects not addressed in the General Description, which are addressed here under Churches are: Pastophoria, Function of the Lateral Apses, Crypt, Cult of Relics, Burial Loci, Baptism, Upper Galleries and Attached Structures. Under Monasteries are addressed all components. The breakdown of the database into many categories aims at enabling the application of a large variety of filterings and queries on the database and the extraction of all sorts of text Reports, maps, tables and charts, from the database.


Under the Evolution button are addressed the various phases observed, with specific emphasis on dating finds, date of construction and post Arab conquest history. The phase date is split into centuries and parts within a century (early, mid, late), in order to permit a more precize chronological filtering of the database. Under the Source of Knowledge button are to be found links to the Literary sources and Epigraphy sections of the application, and lists of Surveys and Excavations, with bibliographical references for each.


Literary sources and Epigraphy

The opening pages in these sections present a Table of Sites and Names of the specific Church or Monastery for which data was inserted. Selecting a specific Church or Monastery will open a list of texts, with an abbreviated bibliographical reference for each. The full text / translations and discussion are provided by clicking on a particular text.

Aspects addressed in each Literary text are:

--- Translation (English or French) (text)

--- Commentary

--- Key words (same for the epigraphic section, see bellow)

--- Synthesis (common for all the texts related to the same Church or Monastery)


Aspects addressed for each inscription are:

--- Inscription type (Building inscription, Dedicatory inscription, Invocation/prayer etc.).

--- Location (within the church or the monastery), either on a moveable object (a liturgical bowl, lamp, bread stamp, eulogia, reliquary etc.), or on an architectural component or part of it (chancel screen or pillar, altar table, altar basis, etc.).

--- A physical description, the text and its autopsy, translation, epigraphical commentry, Date, summary of the contents.

Each inscription is indexed by Key words, according to numerous criteria:

--- Definitions of building /part of building

--- Administrative, ecclesiastical and monastic functions, tasks or titles

--- Personal names

--- Kinship terms

--- Saints names and epithets

--- Epigraphical formulae

--- Citations from the Septuagint or from the New Testament

--- Dates (era applied; given date; common era equivalent)

--- Abbreviations.

The section is concluded by a Synthesis of all inscriptions related to the same Monastery or Church.