Hawarte (Syria), 2009

Hawarte (Syria)

Dates of work: 7 September–20 October 2009

Co-directors: Prof. Michał Gawlikowski, archaeologist (Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw), Nadim al-Khoury, archaeologist (DGAM, Afamia Museum)
Deputy director: Dr. Krzysztof Jakubiak, archaeologist (Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw)
Archaeologists: Dr. Dobrochna Zielińska (Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw), Artur Kaczor (Warsaw)
Topographer: Wiesław Małkowski (Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw)
Archaeologist/ceramologist: Dr. Grzegorz Majcherek (PCMA), Anna Południkiewicz (PCMA)
Art historian: Krystyna Gawlikowska (Warsaw)
Documentalist: Marta Momot (PCMA)
Conservators: Aleksandra Trochimowicz (Warsaw), Bartosz Markowski (Warsaw)
Student trainees: Anna Zając, Maciej Czech (postgraduate, Jagiellonian University, Kraków)

Seasons 2008 and 2009 were the terminal ones on the site of the Hawarte mithraeum. They led to the uncovering of the western part of the cave, nearly half of the whole, which lay beyond the outline of the basilica of the Archbishop Photios and whose very existence had not even been suspected. No new paintings were found on the walls of this part of the cave, but new data on chronology and early use of the grotto was secured. A dependency of the early church was also excavated. It was originally a baptistery, transformed later into a reliquary chapel. Two inscriptions give the name of the founder, Bishop Alexandros, and the date of the first church, AD 421. A separate cave under the apse, already explored by Pierre Canivet, was revisited and mapped. With this, the Hawarte project, which started in 1998, came to a close.

[Text: PAM]

M. Gawlikowski: mgawlikowski@uw.edu.pl