In Iraq’s holy Shi’ite Muslim city of Najaf an archaeologist has claimed to have found Christian ruins that could date back more than 1,700 years.
Ali al-Fatli, a Shi’ite archaeologist, has said that crosses found during excavations prove that the building dates back to the Christian period.
The site lies about a hundred meters from Najaf’s airport. As the airport has expanded over the past five years, a church and a monastery have both been uncovered in the sands, leading scholars to speculate that the area may once have been an Arab-Christian centre.
The ruins – which could be the oldest sign of Christianity in Iraq – lie within the airport’s property so archeologists say they should be safe from looters and vandals.