Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University

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 (see reconstruction, shown here, of the baptistery from the Yale University Art Museum).