(Washington Post) When a revamped highway into Jerusalem fully opens in coming months, it will be just the latest makeover of a road that has served Holy Land travelers for centuries.
Almost as a testament to a path well-trodden, tractors and plows that made way for a new tunnel that is part of the project revealed a Christian village that provided refuge to weary pilgrims making their way into the holy city more than 1,500 years ago.
On Sunday, Israeli archaeologists announced the discovery at the site of a rare cache of Byzantine-era coins. They had lain hidden for some 1,400 years inside the stone walls of an old building in the unearthed village, which archaeologists now believe was called Einbikumakube.
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At a time when the Christian presence across the Middle East is diminishing and believers often face persecution, archaeologists in Israel say that more than a third of the roughly 40,000 artifacts found in the country each year are linked in some way to Christianity.