Sanctuary of Agios Lot (Well of Joseph)

The Sanctuary of Agios Lot (كهف لوط) is located to the southeast of the Dead Sea overlooking the modern town of Safi in Jordan. It is a Byzantine era (5th-7th Centuries CE) monastic site that consists of a basilica church erected at the entrance to a natural cave.

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circa 2000 BCE

Remains of the Sanctuary of Agios Lot, built during the Byzantine era somewehere between fifth and seventh centuries CE. The monastic site that consists of a basilica church erected at the entrance to a natural cave. Its floors were covered with six mosaic (inspect) pavements, one dated 572 CE, another April 605 CE, a third May 691 CE. The size of the church, its associated hostel, and inscriptions invoking the name of Lot, all point to this being a place of pilgrimage.

circa 2000 BCE

The cave, the entrance to which is actually in the north aisle of the church, appears to have been central to the complex's existence. It is a natural one in the slope of the site. Its entrance is preserved to its original height. The sandstone pilaster capitals (inspect) that constitute the frames of the entrance are carved with eight-cornered (Maltese-type) crosses bearing remnants of red paint; the lintel (inspect) had a similarly engraved cross in the center. This cross is flanked by two rosettes, also with traces of paint. One graffiti on the plastered wall on the south side of the entrance gave the name, in Greek, of a local Christian woman called Nestasia Zenobia. Another, in Kufic Arabic script, is an Islamic invocation.

circa 2000 BCE

Lot's Cave (peek outside) is a small room, measuring 2 x 2.5 meters, was paved with fine white marble slabs. This could indeed be the place where early Christians believed that Lot and his two daughters took refuge after their flight from Zoar. Finds within the cave indicate that it has a long history of oc­cupation. The most recent materials recovered from the cave floor (explore) date to the early ninth century CE, probably the final habitation of the cave. The cave of prophet Lut is also depicted on the Madaba Map.

circa 2000 BCE

Archaeological finds reveal a long-term settlement regime for the cave the sanctuary is built around. The domestic quarters of the site consist of several different features. There is a communal dining room or refectory, complete with long benches, a pilgrims' hostel, and a communal burial chamber in what had once been a cistern. The chamber contained twenty-eight adult males, one adult female, and three infants. It is possible that this segment of the site also served as a hospital or infirmary for the monks and pilgrims.

circa 2000 BCE

The entire complex (climb) - consisting of reservoir, church, cave, and do­mestic quarters - dates from the Byzantine to early Abbasid period (fifth-­eighth centuries). An early ninth-century Arabic inscription at the site may attest to a Muslim interest in Lot, whom the Koran describes as a prophet (Qur'an 37:133-36).

circa 2000 BCE

Archaeological excavations during the early years of 1990s dacade revealed a large number of artefacts dating as far back as Early and Middle Bronze Age pottery inside. Speculation linked the finds with Abraham’s nephew Lot who, according to the Bible, moved to a cave in the hills above Zoar after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.


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