Previously thought to be a Roman or Visigothic site on a hill on the outskirts of Elda in the Alicante province of Spain, experts from the University of Alicante and the local archaeological museum have confirmed that the remains of a Christian monastery discovered in the 1980s are in fact those of a Byzantine monastery, Orthochristian reports.
The research lasted almost 25 years “due to the difficulties of identifying the architectural remains and liturgical utensils found,” explains Antonio Manuel Poveda, a professor of ancient history and director of the museum.
In addition to a small set of weights with inscriptions in Greek found earlier, the most recent excavations, led by Poveda, unearthed a large octagonal column, typical of Byzantine architecture. It is a unique find throughout the Iberian Peninsula.
Various liturgical utensils have also been found – the only ones found in Spain belonging to the Byzantine rite.
Photography courtesy of El Pais