Shlomo Ammami, Asaf Peretz, Abraham Hai/Courtesy Staff Officer of Archaeology

This chancel floor in the church at Khirbet Beit Sila was approached by two marble steps. At its center sat a marble slab, which included a Greek memorial inscription, and a niche for a marble reliquary that was found intact. The marble slab would have supported the altar table. Surrounding these marble islands was a mosaic sea. A rectangular frame in a crested wave pattern and an inner frame of dentils enclose the bema portion. The central panel is decorated with interlacing circles and squares in geometric patterns of red, yellow and blue. In the semicircular apse, two rows of black tesserae and a palmette pattern frame the mosaic, which features interlacing medallions with birds, grapes and pomegranates. The large central medallion contains an amphora, below which is a fish, an early Christian symbol.