One element is, of course, the Christian connection to Shiloh. We have discovered three basillicas, each one with beautiful mosaic floors, and each one larger than the other: the Pilgrims' Church, the Danish Church and the New Church is how we refer to them.
The connection between Jesus, Shiloh and The Ark of the Covenant is found in several verses in the Torah and in the New Testament:
Exodus 25:18 And thou shalt make two angels of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.
John 20:12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
Genesis 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
"The sceptre shall not depart from Judah"
Jesus is the Lion of Judah - Revelation 5:5
But unto the Son a sceptre of righteousness - Hebrews 1:8
And at the new church we have found this inscription:
which translates as "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on Shiloh and its inhabitants"
A second inscription was found at a bapistery:
which reads: "Lord Jesus Christ, remember and consider worthy in your kingdom Eutonius your bishop and Germanus your holy regional bishop. Draw near to Him and be enlightened."
Other photographs are here and also here.
And a third:
which reads, "Lord Christ, help your servant."
And we recall their discovery:
04 Dec 2006
Archaeologists claimed yesterday to have uncovered one of the world's first churches, built on a site believed to have once housed the Ark of the Covenant.
The site, emerging from the soil in a few acres in the hills of the Israeli occupied West Bank, is richly decorated with brightly coloured mosaics and inscriptions referring to Jesus Christ.
According to the team, led by Yitzhak Magen and Yevgeny Aharonovitch, the church dates to the late 4th century, making it one of Christianity's first formal places of worship.
"I can't say for sure at the moment that it's the very first church," said Mr Aharonovitch, 38, as he oversaw a team carrying out the final excavations before winter yesterday. "But it's certainly one of the first." He said the site contained an extremely unusual inscription which referred to itself, Shiloh, by name.
"That is very rare and shows early Christians treated this as an ancient, holy place," said Mr Aharonovitch.
For a general view of mosaic floor and other pictures here and here.
And here's a fourth inscription which I snapped of a dedication of a bench:
(Photo credit: YMedad)
And a fifth inscription.