Tuneinir Area 3 Church

Area 3: Mudbrick Church used by Syriac speaking Christians
Artifacts Architecture Parallels Burial Erosion
The excavation of Area 3 began during the 1988 field season. German archaeologists had privately speculated that the low mound on the eastern edge of Tuneinir might be a Roman watchtower or small fort. Pottery sherds were rare in the fill of the low mound and the buried walls were made of sun dried mudbricks. Fragments of a fired brick discovered during 1988 bore the design of a cross and the Syriac word Sabrah (Syriac, Hope). Subsequent excavation seasons would prove that the Area 3 church consisted of 4 superimposed layers belonging to the Byzantine Period, Ummayad Caliphate, Abbasid Caliphate, and Ayyubid Caliphate. Fieldwork in Area 3 was directed by Professor David Hanlon (St. Louis Community College) and Robert McWhorter.

David Hanlon (Left) and Robert McWhorter (right) stand in the nave of the church.

Laying out the grid in Area 3 during 1988 and first day of excavation.

Neathery Fuller supervising workmen in Area 3 during 1988; photograph looking south.

Ron Vahl (left) and Boris Bayless (seated) supervise the first excavation units in Area 3 during 1988; photograph facing west with Area 1 excavation trench in the distance on Tell Tuneinir.

Oil stains on the floor of the Area 3 church were observed on the final plaster floor of the church during 1989. The two largest stains were along the center line of the nave.

Michael Fuller (right) maps the oil stains on the floor of the Area 3 church during summer of 1989. Neathery Fuller (center) and Beverly Susanne Schofield (left) measure the stains and check his drawing.

Charlotte Andersen examines a series of small steps leading from the entrance of the Area 3 church during summer of 1989. The Area 1 excavation trench is visible in the distance on the east side of Tell Tuneinir.

Webpage constructed 7 April 1998

Webpage migrated 1 April 2008
Webpage updated 2 March 2011