Site of Jesus Baptism: From Discovery to World List Heritage
International Journal of Archaeology
Volume 7, Issue 1, June 2019, Pages: 1-7
Received: Jan. 28, 2019; Accepted: Mar. 20, 2019; Published: May 15, 2019
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Mohammad Waheeb, Queen Rania College of Heritage & Tourism, Hashemite University, Amman, Jordan
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The Baptism Site “Bethany beyond the Jordan” (Al-Maghtas) is located in the Jordan RiftValley, north of the Dead Sea between two major sites Jerusalem to the west, and Mount Nebo to the east. The site was discovered during 1996,excavations revealed the presenceof threedistinct archaeological areas on the eastern bank of Jordan River, first,Tell al-Kharrar, also known as Jabal Mar Elias (Elijahs Hill) second, the area of the Monastery with its Large Pool, and third,Churches of St. John the Baptist. “Bethany beyond the Jordan” is of immense religious significance to the majority of denominations of Christian faith all over the world, who have accepted this site with its architectural remains and arts as the location where Jesus of Nazareth was baptized by John the Baptist. This reference encouraged generations of monks, hermits, pilgrims, priests and believers to reside in and visit the site, and to leave behind testimonies of their devotion and religious activities, dating to between the 1st and the 18th century AD.At present, the site has regained a popular status as pilgrimage destination for Christians, who continue to engage in baptism rituals on site. The site has gained the recognition of various churches around the world as World List Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2015 and considered as the actual site where early believers formed the early community of Christianity. The recovered architectural remains such as churches,mosaic floors,caves, andwater system,represent a majorcomplex built during Byzantine Period to commemorate sacred events for early believes.Since the excavations completed during 2002,the site has been extensively developed by the joint ofJordan Ministry of Tourism and Department ofAntiquities, but sensitively so - visitor numbers are controlled and the Visitors' Centre has been located at some distance from the site in an effort to preserve its sanctity. Other facilities include a restaurant, parking, and new churches werebuilt in the Baptism Sitefor praying.
Archaeology, Baptism, Religion, Cultural Heritage, Roman & Byzantine Age
To cite this article
Mohammad Waheeb, Site of Jesus Baptism: From Discovery to World List Heritage, International Journal of Archaeology. Vol. 7, No. 1, 2019, pp. 1-7. doi: 10.11648/j.ija.20190701.11
Copyright © 2019 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
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