Byzantine church located on lake bed

Archaeologists in Turkey have discovered the submerged remains of what may be a significant Byzantine church.

Researchers at Lake Iznik in Bursa province are turning to experts in Byzantine history in an attempt to confirm that the remains are those of St Peter’s church, a building repeatedly referred to in ancient texts but whose physical structure has long eluded scholars. Bursa is a region strongly linked historically with Turkey’s Christian community.

According to Dr Mustafa Sahin of the University of Uludag, who is leading research into the church, the newly discovered building has the layout of a basilica in keeping with designs from the Roman period, and aligns east-west, with an apse to the eastern end.

The research team is now investigating the best method of damming up the site so as to allow access for a full archaeological dig.