Doubts Raised About Ancient Christian Shrine in Jordan

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Archaeologists in Jordan continued to say Tuesday they'd discovered a cave underneath one of the world's oldest churches that may have been an even more ancient site of Christian worship, but an outside expert expressed caution about the claim.

Archaeologist Abdel-Qader Hussein, head of the Rihab Center for Archaeological Studies, said this week that the cave was unearthed in the northern Jordanian city of Rihab after three months of excavation and shows evidence of early Christian rituals.

The cave is under St. Georgeous Church, built in A.D. 230.

If it predates the existing church, that would make it one of the oldest Christian shrines in the world, along with one unearthed in the Jordanian southern port of Aqaba in 1998 and another in Israel discovered in 2005.

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