Sunday, November 9, 2008

Church in Saudi Arabia

Jubail is a Saudi city in the Eastern Province where oil was first discovered in Saudi Arabia in the 1930s. Near Jubail are the ruins of what was unearthed in the mid-1980s by a group of people attempting to dig their vehicle out of the sand. The Saudi government will not issue permits to visit it because 'the site is being excavated.' In any case, the original ruins contained four stone crosses, which later went missing, though the marks where the crosses were are still visible. The ruins are thought to date from the 4th century, which make them older than any known church in Europe. Not much else is known but speculation is that it was in some way connected to one of the five Assyrian Church of the East bishoprics which are known to have existed in this area of the Gulf in the 4th century.

The four photographs here were taken in 1986 by Robert and Patricia McWhorter shortly after the ruins were partially excavated and protected by the Saudi Department of Antiquities.

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