Aisled basilica with cemetery

Aisled basilica with cemetery

Aisled basilica with cemetery

Outside the precincts of the Byzantine settlement, as was customary, the cemetery was sprawled. Outside of the Polystylon, and north from it, but inside the archaeological site of ancient Abdera an aisled basilica was discovered. It occupies the space outside the west gate of the ancient wall and today is included in the fenced archaeological site of ancient Abdera. It was built with dimensions 14,50m x 9,90m and consists of a narthex, nave and sanctuary. It presents three phases.

It is about a cemetery basilica, which was built as customary outside the existing walls, and around it developed the first cemetery of the Byzantine settlement. The basilica is dated after the early Christian era and before the 9th century. All the development phases of the temple are shown out in the diagram .

The splint consists of a single room, the same width as the nave. In the middle of the west side it's the main entrance of the temple and in the middle of the east side of the narthex there is the entrance to the nave of the church. The walls of the narthex, where they are preserved, are built of hewn stone coming from buildings of antiquity, with binder plaster mixed with soil.

The nave is divided into three aisles by two walls 60 centimeters thick, which brought probably arched openings to connect the aisles.

The sanctuary is east of the central aisle. It ends in a semicircular internally and externally niche, with especially meticulous masonry from laminated uncut stones and limestone slabs and large binder, powerful plaster.

During the second phase only the middle aisle is used. The floor of the nave and the apse was raised and covered with lithoplakes.

During the third phase a one-room chapel was built in the temple of the 2nd phase.

A one-room chapel which was constructed on the outer northeastern corner of the basilica is perhaps the 4th phase.

Around the basilica and within it there are many graves, cist mostly, which are part of the extensive cemetery that exists in the area outside the west gate of the classic wall.


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