Geological Materials in Late Antique Archaeology: The Lithic Lectern Throne of the Christian Syrian Churches

Giovanna Bucci
2021 Heritage  
The geological materials used in early Christian Syrian churches involve a lithic furnishing element: the lectern throne of the Syriac bema, a stone device used as a support for the holy books. Some inscriptions found in Syria suggest an interpretation for this artifact, located in the middle of the Syriac bema hemicycle, fronting the altar zone. These elements were made of basalt or limestone, depending on the geographical–geological context of the building. In this work, an unedited
more » ... tion of the main typologies of thrones is proposed with a collatio between geo-archaeological data, epigraphic texts, mosaic inscriptions, literary sources, and findings. The role of this uncommon piece of furniture, uncertain up to now, is explained with a new interpretation coming from archaeological–architectural data combined with ancient sources. The study thus locates this architectonical sculpture in the building stratigraphy and also describes decorations from the lecterns, thus contributing to chronology analysis of published and unedited Syrian sites.
doi:10.3390/heritage4030106 fatcat:vktiijkorzdfvgd627ld2mn3re