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Chancel Screen

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Chancel Screen
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Photo Comments

View looking east at one of the sections of the Chancel Screen that separated the main part of the Basilica Church from the chancel area (Bema/Altar/Synthronon).

The central panel is composed of a grayish marble laced with white specks (cipollino marble?) with a cross in the center of several beveled rectangles (rhombi).  The side posts, of the same material, support thin columns that in turn supported a lintel (not visible) that marked off this sacred space.  In later Orthodox structures, this screen would support icons—the iconostasis.

Behind the sign in the background, the outline of the synthronon is barely visible.

This church is located in the northeast section of the city.  According to a sign at the site (= excavator's view?), it was built during the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine (d. AD 337).  It was destroyed by an earthquake during the reign of Focas (r. AD 602-610).