Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Excavations at Colossae by Flinders University

After our recent Greece trip, some have been asking for an another study tour covering biblical sites in Turkey. The recent announcement from Centre for Theology, Science and Culture of the School of Theology, Flinders University, should make our future visit to Turkey even more exciting! Led by Dr Michael Trainor, the Colossae Project: Unearthing the Past, could begin by December 2008. Thanks to Michael Bird for this piece of news.

The following news article is reproduced from AdelaideNow.

FLINDERS University students could be among the first to uncover the last remaining unexcavated site connected to the New Testament.

After 10 years' work on the project, Flinders theology and archeology students, led by College of Divinity lecturers Dr Michael Trainor and Dr Alan Cadwallader, could begin excavating the site with Turkish scholars in December.

Colossae is located on the south bank of the River Lycus at the modern day city of Honaz in Turkey's Denizli province.

"I think what's exciting about this project is that it has been initiated here in Adelaide and it's a work that will bring Adelaide and Turkish scholars together," Dr Trainor said.

Of all the ancient sites linked to the New Testament, Colossae was the only one which has not been excavated.

"The reason it hasn't attracted any archeological excavation is because there are more significant areas which have noticeable surface remains," he said.

Dr Trainor said Christians at the site received the Letter to the Colossians, which later became part of the New Testament.

The site is linked to about 8500 BC and is believed to hold the remains of the largest church in the Middle East - dedicated to the archangel St Michael.

"There are a number of remains of third or fourth century buildings which we quite well think could be from the Church of St Michael," Dr Trainor said.

Dr Cadwallader heads to Turkey next month to discuss arrangements with colleagues from the University of Pamukkale. "It's a terrific opportunity to enter into a collaboration with a different part of the world that has great significance," he said.

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