A Byzantine church has been discovered underneath Lake İznik in Bursa, a province known as one of the most significant places in Turkey for Christians, reports Today's Zaman.
The church is assumed to be St Peter's Church, which appears in many different sources of Christian history, although no evidence to support that has yet been found. Mustafa Şahin, chair of Uludağ University's department of archeology, said detailed research is being undertaken by Turkish experts on Byzantine history.
'We will share the findings with the public as soon as we get detailed information,' Şahin said. The church has been named one of the most important sources for research in the area. Very rigorous research is under way right now to help the church come above ground and out of the lake.
According to the information attained so far, the church consists of three corridors and has the layout of a basilica. This kind of construction was generally in vogue during the Roman period and was used in courthouse buildings. In A.D. 313, when Christianity was accepted as the official religion of the empire, practicing Christians started to use the basilica layout for churches as well.
The site extends from east to west and has been determined to be a church building because there is an apsis in the east corner of the building in addition to the fact that basilica floor plans were commonly found in churches, Şahin explained.
1,500-year-old historic church found under Turkish lake (Today's Zaman)
Byzantine Church Found in Turkish Lake (Archaeology)