A Syrian archeological expedition working at the site of Tal Hasaka, northeastern Syria, have unearthed a church and cemetery dating back to the Early Christian Era during its fourth excavation season.

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Head of the expedition, Abdul-Masih Baghdo, said the church is 22.50 m long and 14.50 m wide, located to the south of a cathedral which was discovered during the past three seasons.

The church was built with basalt stones, with its walls painted with gypsum.

Baghdo pointed out that the church can be entered from the southern part of Tal Hasaka through an entrance leading to a lobby, adding that the first part of the church can be accessed through 3 entrances, 1 m wide each.

"The first part includes a 8.60 m long and 12.90 m wide temple, separated from a lobby with two 1.10-m-diameter basalt columns," he went on saying.

Baghdo continued that "Next to the church's northern wall there is a chair made of basalt stones and bricks pained with gypsum, believed to belong to an important religious figure."

A seat for a lower ranking clergyman, he added, was found to the south of the southern wall, and to its west, a number of seats were unearthed.

Baghdo noted that in the middle of the eastern side of the temple was the second part of the church, which is the sanctum sanctorum, 5.10 m long and 2.10 m wide, pointing out that the entrance façade is decorated with two semi-circular stone columns.

In the northern side of the cathedral, he added, an 18 m long 8 m wide cemetery was found with its ground pained with gypsum. It includes three temples decorated with semi-circular columns and 18 tombs.

He noted that the cemetery is part of the religious compound earlier discovered in Tal Hasaka.

Source: SANA