A Unique Byzantine Architectural Remains on the Eastern Bank of Jordan River
Mohammed Waheeb

Bethany (“Bethabara” in some ancient manuscripts) has been identified on the eastern side of the Jordan River opposite Jericho and extending2 km (1,2 miles) east, up a dry river-bed called Wadi el-Kharrar. Now the site has been excavated and developed for tourism, A low hill on the eastern edge of the site is called Jebel Mar Elyas, “Mount of Saint Elijah”. Mentioned by several pilgrims in the Byzantine period, the site was identified in antiquity as the place where Elijah ascended to heaven. At the foot of Jebel Mar Elyas, a spring emerges into a series of pools where baptisms may have taken place in antiquity. Hermit monks carved caves in the rocks along the way and lived in them during the Roman and Byzantine era. Down near the Jordan River, excavation revealed the ruins of a Byzantine monastery with a church located at the traditional site where Jesus is said to have left his clothes during his baptism.

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