A 1,500-year-old Greek inscription bearing the name “Christ, born of Mary” was unearthed in northern Israel, the Antiquities Authority announced last week.

The finding was unveiled in a salvage excavation directed by Tzachi Lang and Kojan Haku ahead of the construction of a road inside the village of Taiba in the Jezreel Valley.

According to the law in Israel, a salvage excavation must be conducted prior to any construction project. People from local communities are usually invited to take part in the projects, according to a consolidated policy by the IAA to foster interest in archaeology and the country’s heritage.

“Christ born of Mary. This work of the most God-fearing and pious bishop [Theodo]sius and the miserable Th[omas] was built from the foundation. Whoever enters should pray for them,” reads the full inscription, according to Dr. Leah Di Segni, researcher at the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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