THE NORTH CHURCH. At the far northern edge of Shivta, a baptistery (far right of photo) adjacent to the North Church contains a baptismal font resting on a two-stepped platform. The baptistery was rebuilt in the sixth century, likely as part of a monastic complex. Burials and dated inscriptions from the complex suggest that at least some of Shivta’s inhabitants remained Christian until the end of the seventh century—about 50 years after the entire area fell under Islamic rule. The scene depicted in the baptistery’s vault may be the only surviving example of Jesus’s baptism in pre-iconoclastic Palestine that is preserved in its original architectural setting.