(Newsweek) A wealth of archaeological relics found at an ancient Christian site in Israel includes a rare silver coin, the top of a column that likely belonged to a royal structure and a large pool that might have been used for anything from baptismal ceremonies to irrigation. The newly revealed finds span a number of different cultures and time periods, and the site itself corresponds to tales about Philip the Evangelist from the Bible.
A group of archaeologists has spent the past five years excavating Ein Hanniya (sometimes spelled as Hanya), which sits in the Rephaim Valley National Park, not far from Jerusalem. In addition to being the second-largest Judean Hills spring, Ein Hanniya is an important site from early Christianity, according to Times of Israel.
"Some early Christian commentators identified Ein Hanniya as the site where the Ethiopian eunuch was baptized," Jerusalem district archaeologist Yuval Baruch said, according to World Israel News. That tale—from the New Testament's Acts of the Apostles, in which Philip the Evangelist performed miracles on his way from Jerusalem to Gaza—is considered a key event in the spread of Christianity, according to World Israel News.
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