July 30, 2018
Archaeologists working along the banks of the Tiber river in Rome last week discovered what may be the remnants of an early Christian church likely dating to the fourth century CE. The site of the church is only about 150 to 200 meters from where the emperor Constantine fought his rival Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge on October 28, 312 CE — and in close proximity to the place where historical accounts indicate that Constantine saw a cross emblazoned in the sky, a cross that convinced him to convert to Christianity. The late antique building has the potential to provide new insights into Christian congregations in Rome during Late Antiquity, and may also demonstrate the visceral connections between memory, space, and worship within early Christianity.
During work on the via Capoprati along the right bank of the Tiber this summer, the archaeological group Cooperativa Archeologia uncovered what was first thought to be a villa but was then reinterpreted to be a church. This new hypothesis surfaced after the discovery of human remains within what is now thought to be a small cemetery. In comments to Hyperallergic, Stephen Kay, an archaeology officer at the British School at Rome, noted that the excavations were rather narrow and done as a rescue operation on the small road next to the river.
...Read the rest at Hyperallergic.