In 2011, a surprising archaeological discovery was made at Khirbet Midras, in the heart of the Shephelah. Following evidence of illegal looting at the site, the Israeli Antiquities Authority decided to excavate at the site and uncover one of its buildings. It was assumed that it was an ancient synagogue, but to everyone’s surprise it proved to be – a church. Moreover, the church was decorated with an ornate mosaic floor, almost completely intact. Once published in the media, the discovery attracted many visitors. However, due to the lack of funds to preserve the mosaic, the state declared it would cover it, in order to protect it.
With my friend, Amos Freildin, we went to document this extraordinary discovery before it is covered up –
Touring Khirbet Midras
Khirbet Midras is in the heart of the low hills of Judea (the Shephelah). The mosaic is covered again, but new research by an expedition from the Heberw University is uncovering another building, whose function is not clear yet. The site also bears several bell-shaped caves and tactical caves from the Bar-Kohba Revolt. They are a popular destination among kids and teen groups.