Fordham University has recently acquired nine mosaics from a church built in the fifth century in what is now northwest Syria. The mosaics were a gift from an anonymous donor and now reside in Fordham’s Museum of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Art. The museum contains more than 260 objects from the 10th century B.C. through the third century A.D., but these are different. “They’re evidence of very, very early Christianity in the Levant and the eastern Mediterranean,” said Jennifer Udell, Ph.D., curator of university art.
Additionally, “[they] have kind of everything you want as a historian,” said Michael Peppard, Ph.D., assistant professor of theology. The mosaics included the names of four church officials as well as the benefactor of the church and a date that would approximately be December 463 A.D. “We have five proper names and a date, and those things are not to be taken for granted in history,” continued Peppard. With the names and date it becomes much easier to learn about the time in which the church was constructed.
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