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Great Churches of the World

An Archaeological Survey of Religious Structures


Archaeology and religion have a long history together--many of the earliest investigators into the archaeological past were priests and priest-scholars, and much of what science is today grew out of the religious movement. Hard to believe these days, I must admit.

But over the years, archaeologists have continued our fascination with the scientific pieces of religious belief, this fascination taking many different flavors and investigating most of the religions of the world. This photo gallery is an examination of a few of the more interesting churches in the world ('churches' including synagogues, mosques, temples, and shrines) and why archaeologists are interested in them.

More text-based information on churches and archaeology has been assembled in the inventively named Churches and Archaeology archive.
Images 1-12 of 21
St. Catherine's Monastery, EgyptSt. Catherine's Monastery, EgyptDoura Europos, SyriaDoura Europos, SyriaCanterbury Cathedral, EnglandCanterbury Cathedral, EnglandBasilique de St-Denis, FranceBasilique de St-Denis, France
Tirana Mosque of Et'hem Bey, AlbaniaTirana Mosque of Et'hem Bey, AlbaniaKushinagar Ruins, IndiaKushinagar Ruins, IndiaSelimiye Mosque, Edirne TurkeySelimiye Mosque, Edirne TurkeyThe Blue Mosque of IstanbulThe Blue Mosque of Istanbul
Roman Mosaic of Duck Facing Left in Vines, Hammam-Lif Synagogue, TunisiaMosaic from Hamman-Lif Synagogue, Tunisia Qorikancha, Cuzco, PeruQorikancha, Cuzco, PeruBerat Orthodox Church, AlbaniaChurch of St. Mary of Vllaherna, AlbaniaSt. Alban's Abbey, Hertfordshire, EnglandSt. Alban's Abbey, England
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