An Archaeological Re-assessment of Forty-Seven Early Byzantine Basilical Church Excavations Primarily in Israel and Jordan, and their Historical and Liturgical Context
Chapter 4: A second focus of liturgical activity
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A second focus of liturgical activity
The chapter begins by considering the definition of a diakonikon, and what activities are associated with it. Then some current prevailing views as to the location of the diakonikon are reviewed. The available archaeological evidence from the catalogue is then examined to determine whether it is possible to determine the location of the diakonikon, and what activities took place there.
This chapter is prompted, firstly, by Krautheimer’s argument that the congregation’s offerings were brought to the diakonikon, and so its location might coincide with a concentration of domestic artefacts in its vicinity.1 Detailed analysis of domestic pottery deposited in church sites is conducted in the next chapter, but determining the location of the diakonikon is necessary to allow informed analysis of their disposition. Secondly, by the discovery of a second focus of liturgical activity in side chapels (figure 4.1) adjacent to church buildings.2 Crowfoot had argued, based upon his research at Gerasa, that during the Early Byzantine period the rite of prothesis took place in the side chapel, and he thought it also functioned as a diakonikon at this time.3 This line of argument gained some credibility because there is an absence of an alternative secondary liturgical focus inside the church building that would support arguments that the rite of prothesis was conducted in a diakonikon or prothesis chapel located inside the church. The question considered here is whether there is evidence for liturgical...
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