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E02665: Greek inscriptions on stone. Found in the sanctuary (hagios topos) of *Lot (Old Testament patriarch, S01234) at Deir 'Ain 'Abata near Zoara/modern Ghor es-Safi on the southeast shore of the Dead Sea (Jordan/Roman province of Palaestina III). Probably 6th-7th c.

online resource
posted on 2017-04-06, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
Inscription 1:

White sandstone lintel. Decorated with mouldings. Weathered face. Broken and lost in the upper left-hand corner. H. 0.225 m; W. 0.78 m; Th. 0.20 m. Letter height 0.009-0.02 m. Reportedly found in the apse in the south aisle of the church.

[ὁ εἰσιὼν (?) ἐν τῷ] ̣ἁγίῳ τόπῳ τούτῳ, εὐξάσθω ὑπὲρ το̣ῦ ἐλεεινοῦ ἐμοῦ, τοῦ οἰκο-

'[Let him who enters] this holy place, pray for me, the humble mason!'

Text: Politis 2012, 410-411, no. 8 [ed. and translation Y. Meimaris & K.I. Kritikakou-Nikolaropoulou].

The editors suppose that the architect (oikodomos) mentioned in this request, was the constructor of the church of Lot or another building at the site of the monastery. They add that the structure could be seen as a gift to the saint by the architect.

Inscription 2:

Sandstone slab with a very rough surface. Found to the north of the church, in a courtyard of the monastery (sometimes described as the site of the pilgrims' hostel). H. 0.29 m; W. 0.48 m; Th. 0.08 m. Letter height 0.035-0.075 m.

+ μνήσθ(ητι),
Κ(ύρι)ε, Ἰωάννου
Προκοπίου τοῦ

'+ O Lord, remember Ioannes, son of Prokopios, the founder!'

Text: Politis 2012, 409-410, no. 6 [ed. and translation Y. Meimaris & K.I. Kritikakou-Nikolaropoulou].

The editors suppose that Ioannes, son of Prokopios, here described as a donor or founder was probably responsible for the construction of the pilgrims' hostel.

Inscription 3:

Two conjoining fragments of a white-pinkish sandstone cornice. Found in the pilgrims' hostel. Fragment A: H. 0.175 m; W. 0.32 m; Th. 0.245 m. Fragment B: H. 0.175 m; W. 0.17 m; Th. 0.245 m. Letter height 0.02-0.04 m. The engraved letters were painted red.

+ μνήσθητι, Κύ(ριε), ̣Παύλ̣ο[υ - - -]

'+ O Lord, remember Paulos [- - -]!'

Text: Politis 2012, 410, no. 7 [ed. and translation Y. Meimaris & K.I. Kritikakou-Nikolaropoulou].

Meimaris and Kritikakou-Nikolaropoulou mention four more fragmentary stones with scarcely legible inscriptions, that were found at the sanctuary. As they are not relevant for the present study, we do not reproduce them here. For the text, see Politis 2012, 411-412, nos. 9-12.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Lot, Old Testament Patriarch and nephew of Abraham : S01234

Saint Name in Source


Image Caption 1

Inscription 1. From: Politis 2010, 5.

Image Caption 2

Inscription 2. From: Politis 2012, 410.

Image Caption 3

Inscription 3. From: Politis 2010, 21.

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Palestine with Sinai Palestine with Sinai

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Deir 'Ain Abata Zoara

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Deir 'Ain Abata Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis Zoara Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Monastery

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits Merchants and artisans Other lay individuals/ people


For a description of the site, see: E02664. For graffiti from the site, see: E02666. For painted inscriptions from the site, see: E02782.


Edition: Politis. K.D. (ed.), Sanctuary of Lot at Deir 'Ain 'Abata: Excavations 1988-2003 (Amman: Jordan Distribution Agency, 2012), 393-416 (Greek inscriptions). We are very grateful to Konstantinos Politis for generously providing a copy of this publication, and to Alan Walmsley and Carol Palmer, the director of the British Institute in Amman (CBRL), for additional help. Further reading: Politis, K.D., "Excavations at the Monastery of Saint Lot at Deir ‘Ain ‘Abata", Liber Annuus 41 (1991), 517-518. Politis, K.D. "The Sanctuary of Agios Lot, the City of Zoara and the Zared River", in: M. Piccirillo, E. Alliata (eds.), The Madaba Map Centenary 1897–1997: Travelling Through the Byzantine Umayyad Period. Proceedings of the International Conference Held in Amman, 7.–9. April 1997 (Jerusalem: Franciscan Printing Press, 1999), 225-227. Politis, K.D., "The Monastery of Aghios Lot at Deir 'Ain 'Abata in Jordan”, in: Daim, F., Drauschke, J. (eds.), Byzanz – Das Römerreich im Mittelalter (Mainz: Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, 2010), 155-180. Politis, K.D., "The sanctuary of Lot at 'Ain 'Abata in Jordan", in: L.D. Chrupcała (ed.), Christ is here! Studies in Biblical and Christian Archaeology in Memory of Michele Piccirillo, ofm (SBF Collectio Maior 52, Milan: Edizioni Terra Santa, 2012), 355-382. See also: Reference works: Bulletin épigraphique (2015), 721. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 58, 1779; 42, 1483; 62, 1698-1716.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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