The enclosure of the Church of Mary Mother of God on Mount Gerizim

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Description

During the Byzantine period, in 484 CE, the octagonal Church of Mary Mother of God (Theotokos) was built on the summit of Mount Gerizim. This church was built on the same place where the previous Samaritan temple stood. The church is located inside a rectangular enclosure (71x56m) with a peristyle and towers at the four corners. The many rooms around the enclosure may indicate that the complex could have been used as a monastery. A gate house gave access to the northern enclosure which was divided into two parts. One part was used for agriculture and the other part contained a large water reservoir.