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Document Details :
Title: A Revised Date for the Mosaic Pavements of the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem
Author(s): MADDEN, Andrew
Journal: Ancient West & East
Volume: 11 Date: 2012
A key question following the discovery of mosaic pavements below the current flooring of the Church of the Nativity involves their proposed date. They are generally assigned to the first half of the 5th century as opposed to the Constantinian period of the first church’s construction. By reconsidering the design programme of the mosaics and archaeological evidence, which are the key determinants of the accepted date, this paper argues they are indeed the original Constantinian floors. The significance is that the mosaics are amongst the earliest surviving examples from churches, and confirm a broad continuum from Hellenistic to early church mosaic decoration in the East.