Church columns restored at Hierapolis ancient city
DENİZLİ - Anadolu Agency
The St. Philippus Church is home to the grave of Philip, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ. AA photoThe ruined columns of a church in Denizli’s ancient city of Hierapolis have been rebuilt by an excavation team that has been leading a dig at the site for a number of years.
The St. Philippus Church is home to the grave of Philip, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ. Works have continued this year in the church’s necropolis area, bath and basilica.
The head of the excavation team, Professor Francesco D’Andria, said they had found a second church and a Roman grave during excavations in 2011.
“Two of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ are in Turkey. St. John is in Ephesus and St. Philippus is in Hierapolis. When St. Philippus came to Hierapolis to propagate Christianity in the first century, he was killed by the Romans there. At the time of the Byzantines, an altar was made on the place of his grave. Excavations around his grave revealed eight ruined columns, and we discovered a very nice church. The restoration project started last year with the support of the U.S. Kaplan Foundation. This year all columns were reattached and now they are open to visitors,” he said.
D’Andria said one of the columns had a scripture in Greek, saying “God remember me,” written by Pontiff Theodosius in the sixth century. “It is a very interesting scripture because this is a faith center. It shows how people prayed to God in ancient ages,” he said.
Excavations have been continuing at Hierapolis since 1957 under the direction of an Italian archaeological team.