age fotostock/Alamy Stock Photo
EARLIEST CHURCH. Not only does Dura-Europos have the earliest depiction of the Virgin Mary, but it also contains the earliest images of Jesus. Perhaps this is not surprising considering that Dura’s church—dated to the middle of the third century C.E.—is the oldest surviving Christian church. Originally a house, the two-story structure was converted into a church, replete with an assembly hall and baptistery. The image above shows the ruins of the church, including the entryway between its courtyard (front left) and a teaching room (back middle). Part of the baptistery can be seen on the far right, and its assembly room appears on the far left.